Articles | ArtSlant https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/show en-us 40 Jody Christopherson Answers 5 Questions <p><em>This is&nbsp;5 Questions. Each week, we send five questions to an artist featured in&nbsp;</em><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ams/articles/show/49791-under-the-radar-pamela-arce-jody-christopherson-sarah-waisvisz" target="_blank"><em>Under the Radar</em></a><em>, our weekly email highlighting the best art on the ArtSlant network. This week we seek answers from <a href="https://www.artslant.com/ams/artists/show/503544-jody-christopherson" target="_blank">Jody Christopherson</a>.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>What are you trying to communicate with your work?</strong></p> <p>Human beings are more than just one thing. I&rsquo;m a multidisciplinary artist: I write, perform, create music and visual art at a professional level. I don&rsquo;t call that &ldquo;extra,&rdquo; I call that agency. The biggest lie artists (and women) are often told is that we need to ask permission to expand, that we should be afraid of being too much.</p> <p>We have to expand. We are telling stories, that until recently, have never been told. I find it exciting to explore multiple forms in order to fully express that.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20181008162759-20180319233620-Letchworth_Village_2-1.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><em>Letchworth Village Self Portrait</em>, 2017</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>What is an artist&rsquo;s responsibility?</strong></p> <p>To always challenge our own, and our audience&rsquo;s, limitations.</p> <p><strong>Show us the greatest thing you ever made (art or not)? </strong></p> <p>This is a photograph I took on a cold November day in 2016. Pictured/ text by playwright Leah Nanko Winkler:</p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20181008162832-Necessary_Exposure_photo_by_Jody_Christopherson__Playwright_Leah_Nanako_Winkler-5__1_.jpg" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Tell us about a work you want to make but never will:</strong></p> <p>I love this question. I ask myself this every time I begin a new project, and then try to find ways to make the impossible, possible.</p> <p>Here are a few recent impossible feats I&rsquo;ve created with my long time collaborator Director, <a href="https://www.broadwayworld.com/people/Isaac-Byrne/" target="_blank">Isaac Byrne</a>:</p> <p><em><a href="http://jodychristopherson.wixsite.com/jodychristopherson/amp-1" target="_blank">AMP</a></em>, a solo horror play that explodes the Frankenstein creation myth through a feminist lens, exploring the &ldquo;monsters that society creates.&rdquo; It&rsquo;s a theater performance with films we shot guerilla-style at abandoned asylums. <em>AMP</em> was rehearsed over Facetime across two time zones, while Isaac was in his second year of grad school in Texas. It has 500 lighting, sound, projection and haze cues in 60 minutes. Among other things, the props for the production consist of jars of drinkable formaldehyde that contain food-grade sculptures of human organs I created with advice from <a href="http://www.sculpt.com/" target="_blank">The Compleat Sculptor</a>. And it all fits in a suitcase to tour.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20181008162922-20180319231739-AMP_featuring_Jody_Christopherson_photo_by_Hunter_Canning-26.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><em>AMP</em>, Theatre, sculpture. Photo: Hunter Canning</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><a href="http://jodychristopherson.wixsite.com/jodychristopherson/st-kilda" target="_blank">St Kilda</a>, </em>a solo Scottish/American monoconcert about a woman traveling alone, which I perform completely solo and travel with alone (also fits in a suitcase). The protagonist is a working class woman from Nebraska (like me), who travels to an abandoned island off the coast of Scotland after the death of her grandmother and unearths a powerful family secret. It speaks to the place we are at in history, the need to rise up, because no one else is really going to do it for us.</p> <p>I&rsquo;ve learned to load in, tech solo, as well as perform and live mix foley instruments (thanks to <a href="http://www.andycomusic.com/" target="_blank">Andy Evan Cohen</a>) with an 8-channel board, a looper, distortion pedals as well as operate my own lights onstage. There are times in the show I&rsquo;m performing over seven layers of sound loops I create with either vocalizations or foley instruments.</p> <p>St Kilda will be touring to Minneapolis&rsquo; Southern Theater in <a href="http://www.tchorrorfestival.com/" target="_blank">Horrorfest</a>, Oct 26&ndash;Nov 3.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20181008163002-20180319233552-Necessary_Exposure_photo_by_Jody_Christopherson_Playwirght_Ayesha_Jordan_as_Shasta_Geaux_Pop-4.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><em>Necessary Exposure</em>: Playwright Shasta Geaux Pop, 2017, Photograph</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Who are three artists we should know but probably don&rsquo;t?</strong></p> <p>Here&rsquo;s 46 of them I&rsquo;ve photographed for my portrait and sound installation <em>Necessary Exposure: The Female Playwright Project</em>: <a href="https://thefemaleplaywrightproject.com/" target="_blank">thefemaleplaywrightproject.com</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&mdash;The ArtSlant Team</p> <p><em>ArtSlant is an open Arts community with over 200,000 free, user-generated&nbsp;artist profiles. The support of our community is an essential part of our mission.&nbsp;Follow your favorite artists to see new work and exhibitions by adding them to your&nbsp;watchlist.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;">(Image at top: <em>AMP</em>, Theatre, sculpture. Photo: Hunter Canning)</span></p> Mon, 08 Oct 2018 09:53:31 -0700 https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Caroline Dahlberg Answers 5 Questions <p><em>This is&nbsp;5 Questions. Each week, we send five questions to an artist featured in&nbsp;</em><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ams/articles/show/49524-under-the-radar-jisoo-chung-mo-sirra-caroline-dahlberg" target="_blank"><em>Under the Radar</em></a><em>, our weekly email highlighting the best art on the ArtSlant network. This week we seek answers from <a href="https://www.artslant.com/ams/artists/show/502322-caroline-dahlberg" target="_blank">Caroline Dahlberg</a>.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>What are you trying to communicate with your work?</strong></p> <p>Intimacy is the word that comes up a lot. The work I make&nbsp;is tactile, it wants to be touched. I think a lot about social scripts and contracts, like how you know the right moment to kiss someone on a first date. There are a lot of cues and situations and intuitions. Although, in terms of intimacy, I&rsquo;ve always felt that there&rsquo;s a huge lack in daily life. I&rsquo;m looking to make up for that a bit and figure out situations that make people feel very close to&nbsp;or reassured by other people and things. Once you see how close you can get to something, it&rsquo;s hard not to notice the distance that proper social behavior asks for. I saw a photo a while back of a pair of feet intertwining their toes and immediately felt like the skin between my toes wanted to be touched.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20180917175002-20180306225012-Therianthropy.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><em>Therianthropy,&nbsp;</em>2016, Performance, props, sound</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>What is an artist&rsquo;s responsibility?</strong></p> <p>I&rsquo;m still working on educating myself as an artist and viewer. I do feel that it is important to be responsive and sincere. I feel that it is important to embrace discomfort and be affected by it. I remember a description from Anna Tsing&rsquo;s&nbsp;<em>Mushrooms at the End of the World</em>&nbsp;in which she describes the concept of contamination as being vulnerable and changed by something else. Of course,&nbsp;I don&rsquo;t think this means being without convictions. It&rsquo;s not enough to just feel compassion. In Susan Sontag&rsquo;s&nbsp;<em>On the Pain of Others</em>&nbsp;she calls compassion without action impotent. Responsibility means creative adaptability. Creating new methodologies for action and representation.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Show us the greatest thing you ever made (art or not)?</strong></p> <p>I&rsquo;ve been thinking a lot about this bone I made for a larger installation,&nbsp;<em>The Hypochondriac&rsquo;s Wake</em>. I like that it&rsquo;s illustrating a self-dissection and a whole acknowledging the sum of its parts. I think there will be more work in that vein to come.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20180917174604-hypochondriac_s_bone.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><em>The Hypochondriac&#39;s Bone</em>. Photographed by Caroline Dahlberg</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Tell us about a work you want to make but never will:</strong></p> <p>It&rsquo;s hard to think of a project like that. Maybe because I&rsquo;m early in my career, but the &ldquo;never will&rdquo; seems like a definitive end. Like I&rsquo;m supposed to leave something floating around after I pass away. An &ldquo;afterlife&rdquo; myth of an artwork.</p> <p>With all my projects, I think a lot about what&rsquo;s implied beyond what is there. When I write a line about merging past skin and drop oil into water, I like to imagine the tip of someone&rsquo;s finger passing through someone else&rsquo;s hand. Not in a sort of magic act illusion kind of way, but also with the sensation of feeling muscle, tendons, and bones spreading apart to allow for the finger to pass through. Likewise, feeling the pressure of an appendage invading and how one&rsquo;s hand might adapt to accommodate for it. I like to imagine bodies becoming malleable and adaptive.</p> <p>Perhaps that&rsquo;s the work I want to make, but won&rsquo;t: simulating a way of existing past one&rsquo;s limits, slithering into a zone beyond our bodily lives, perceiving/feeling the next mutation take form. Like thousands of years of bodily adaptations all at once in a matter of minutes, with time drawn out just long enough to savor the intensity.&nbsp;Like a tree that grows through the links in a fence and engulfs it.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20180917175142-20180306225113-To_Pieces.png" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em style="font-size: 12px;">To Pieces</em><span style="font-size: 12px;">, 2017, Video</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Who are three artists we should know but probably don&rsquo;t? </strong>&nbsp;</p> <p>I&rsquo;m cautious about assuming what people don&rsquo;t know, but here are a few artists who come to mind that I would love to see get more attention:</p> <p>Shaye St. John is an artist that I think about often. Her <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOVK8qWkGI7NHsFKkhyv3Bg" target="_blank">videos</a> and the anonymity around them feel like an urban folklore.&nbsp;</p> <p>I also was able to see a performative lecture by <a href="https://www.alokvmenon.com/" target="_blank">Alok Vaid-Menon</a>,&nbsp;which was incredibly powerful.</p> <p>Clarice Lispector also comes to mind. She&rsquo;s a writer, but her writing is notably visual and sensuous.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&mdash;The ArtSlant Team</p> <p><em>ArtSlant is an open Arts community with over 200,000 free, user-generated&nbsp;artist profiles. The support of our community is an essential part of our mission.&nbsp;Follow your favorite artists to see new work and exhibitions by adding them to your&nbsp;watchlist.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;">(Image at top: </span><em style="font-size: 12px; text-align: center;">Boundaries and Fluids</em><span style="font-size: 12px; text-align: center;">, 2017, One-on-one performance</span><span style="font-size:12px;">)</span></p> Mon, 17 Sep 2018 10:52:35 -0700 https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Anastasia Alekseevna Mikhaylova Answers 5 Questions <p><em>This is&nbsp;5 Questions. Each week, we send five questions to an artist featured in&nbsp;<a href="https://www.artslant.com/ams/articles/show/49259-under-the-radar-augusto-de-luca-natali-bravo-barbee-anastasia-alekseevna-mikhaylova" target="_blank">Under the Radar</a>, our weekly email highlighting the best art on the ArtSlant network. This week we seek answers from </em><em><a href="https://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/490953-anastasia-alekseevna-mikhaylova" target="_blank">Anastasia Alekseevna Mikhaylova</a>.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>What are you trying to communicate with your work?</strong></p> <p>My work&rsquo;s subject is rooted in my own sense of mortality, which impacts my art. I study processes of physical, technical, and spiritual transformation&nbsp;and combine&nbsp;analog and digital projection techniques with performance, installation, video, painting, printmaking, and photography. I want to&nbsp;show&nbsp;the beauty and&nbsp;fragility&nbsp;of life&nbsp;and&nbsp;at the same time&nbsp;give&nbsp;positive&nbsp;space to contents which might not be comfortable to talk&nbsp;or think&nbsp;about&mdash;for example death, fear, violence, pain, illness, decay,&nbsp;eternity, the unknown.&nbsp;Some&nbsp;of my works are based on X-Ray images or ultrasonic recordings; others integrate a&nbsp;microscopic view&nbsp;on organic matters&mdash;transformed into&nbsp;rather abstract&nbsp;or symbolic images.&nbsp;For example,&nbsp;snakeskin texture&nbsp;became a recurrent element and symbol of metamorphosis.&nbsp;I get deeply inspired by studying nature and express this fascination&nbsp;within my artworks, which often have a zoomorphic focus.&nbsp;My work is&nbsp;life-affirming&nbsp;and&nbsp;it aims&nbsp;to remind us about&nbsp;humankind&nbsp;having an intangible connection to nature and universe.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20180716161559-20180715002426-Membrane_4.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><em>Membrane #1</em>, 2018, Photopolymer intaglio</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>What is an artist&rsquo;s responsibility?</strong></p> <p>Responsibilities let us grow as individuals and as artists and we have the great chance to manifest them in our artwork directly.&nbsp;Responsibilities towards&nbsp;myself and&nbsp;society I see as being empathetic&nbsp;and critical&mdash;by&nbsp;researching what is disturbing,&nbsp;questioning what is too comfortable,&nbsp;not giving up&nbsp;visions, even if they don&rsquo;t have commercial success.&nbsp;In the times&nbsp;of the Anthropocene,&nbsp;sustainable and eco-conscious&nbsp;behaviors&nbsp;matter. I use non- or at least less-toxic&nbsp;production&nbsp;methods for my artworks, which are also more healthy. For example, alternative analog photography with natural developers and toners or non-toxic printmaking give great results. I recommend trying&nbsp;those techniques&nbsp;to every artist working with this medium. These <a href="http://www.nontoxicprint.com/" target="_blank">two</a> <a href="http://www.grafiskeksperimentarium.dk/?lang=en" target="_blank">websites</a> are a good start for those who&nbsp;are&nbsp;interested.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20180716161629-20171101021330-Membranes_beginning_IMG_0044.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><em>Membrane 1</em>, 2017, Analogue photography, photogram, collage, framed</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Show us the greatest thing you ever made (art or not)?</strong></p> <p>Multidisciplinary exchange&nbsp;and collaboration&nbsp;with international artists is a great thing to do and very rewarding.&nbsp;I am about to build a new body of work&mdash;collages and paintings on glass,&nbsp;which I plan to use as projection scenery for&nbsp;performances and stage pieces.&nbsp;I want&nbsp;to share an interactive&nbsp;visual world&nbsp;with artists and audiences.&nbsp;This image&nbsp;gives a glimpse of&nbsp;a&nbsp;new&nbsp;collaboration project within the fields of sound and performance.&nbsp;The first part is&nbsp;called <em>Splatter</em>&nbsp;and will be presented in Berlin at <a href="http://www.plataformaberlin.de/plataforma.html" target="_blank">Plataforma Festival</a> this August.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20180716161705-Splatter.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Courtesy&nbsp;Collective BROKEN LOOP:&nbsp;Jarkko R&auml;s&auml;nen, Lola Lustosa, Anastasia Alekseevna Mikhaylova</span><br /> <span style="font-size: 12px;">Previous performative projects can be seen on my </span><a href="https://vimeo.com/anastasiadigital" style="font-size: 12px;" target="_blank">Vimeo page</a><span style="font-size: 12px;">.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Tell us about a work you want to make but never will:</strong></p> <p>I would like to write a science fiction novel, but writing is not my strength. Though there might still be a chance in a collaboration.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20180716161741-20180714224126-SweetPain_1.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><em>Sweet Pain #1</em>, 2017&ndash;2018, Analogue photography, mounted on aluminium</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Who are three artists we should know but probably don&rsquo;t?</strong></p> <p><a href="https://jarkko.persona.co/" target="_blank">Jarkko R&auml;s&auml;nen</a>&nbsp;is a <a href="https://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jarkko_R%C3%A4s%C3%A4nen" target="_blank">multidisciplinary artist</a>&nbsp;from Finland&nbsp;and member of&nbsp;BROKEN LOOP collective.</p> <p><a href="http://www.marnix-everaert.be/home.html" target="_blank">Marnix Everaert</a>&nbsp;is an artist and printmaker&nbsp;from Belgium. We share an interest in the peculiarities&nbsp;of nature and&nbsp;he taught me all I know about non-toxic printmaking.</p> <p><a href="http://www.mocp.org/detail.php?type=related&amp;kv=7876&amp;t=people" target="_blank">Joel-Peter Witkin</a> is an <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joel-Peter_Witkin" target="_blank">American photographer</a> I don&rsquo;t know personally but his work is a great inspiration.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&mdash;The ArtSlant Team</p> <p><em>ArtSlant is an open Arts community with over 200,000 free, user-generated&nbsp;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/intros/plans" target="_blank">artist profiles</a>. The support of our community is an essential part of our mission.&nbsp;Follow your favorite artists to see new work and exhibitions by adding them to your&nbsp;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/articles/show/11143" target="_blank">watchlist.</a></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;">(Image at top: <em>Cosmos</em>, 2018, Photopolymer intaglio)</span></p> Mon, 16 Jul 2018 09:19:34 -0700 https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Anna Fafaliou Answers 5 Questions <p><em>This is&nbsp;5 Questions. Each week, we send five questions to an artist featured in&nbsp;<a href="https://www.artslant.com/ams/articles/show/47134-under-the-radar-danielle-williamson-jenyu-wang-anna-fafaliou" target="_blank">Under the Radar</a>, our weekly email highlighting the best art on the ArtSlant network. This week we seek answers from</em><em><a href="https://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/450374-anna-fafaliou?tab=PROFILE" target="_blank"><em> Anna Fafaliou</em></a>.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>What are you trying to communicate with your work?</strong></p> <p>The nature of my work has always been around the relationship between object, memory, and identity.</p> <p>The communicate that with my sculptures by modifying and distorting everyday objects and materials to an extent that the viewers can actually feel some type of compassion when staring at them. I believe that people tend to relate to art when they are able to make a personal reference, which helps them understand their nature. Therefore, I consider my pieces as a metaphorical mirror, which reflects the relationships between memory, identity, and the object.</p> <p>Only recently have I decided to shift my attention to the relationship of the identity and emotional expression. It came as a natural continuation, after giving so much focus on objects and memory, to finally dig into some restrictive inner parts. My latest piece was a neon sculpture commissioned by Nike that showed the importance of inner strength, persistence, and progression. I was inspired by the Olympic &amp; World Champion in Pole Vault, Katerina Stefanidi.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20180618080445-anna_fafaliou.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">2018, Neon, Commissioned by Nike</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>What is an artist&rsquo;s responsibility?</strong></p> <p>An artist&rsquo;s responsibility should not be to rely on what has made them a success. The importance of making progress and the willpower for communicating your work to the public is a key element. You have to be clear on what it is you are conveying&mdash;otherwise it is just more stuff in a room. Being an artist gives you all the freedom of experimentation, failure, and success you might ask for; so, in a way being creative, innovative, and progressive are the three key words for me.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20180618080425-20170106064938-IMG_1705.JPG" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><em>Torso</em>, 2016&ndash;17, Plaster cast</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Show us the greatest thing you ever made (art or not)?</strong></p> <p>I don&rsquo;t think it&rsquo;s the greatest thing I ever done but it means a lot to me on my many levels. It&rsquo;s the <em>all I can remember</em> installation/performance that I first did in London in 2015:</p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20180618080351-4630158331_946x674.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><em>All I Can Remember</em>, 2015</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><a href="https://www.facebook.com/annafafaliouartist/videos/916902071815730/">I believed in you</a></em> is also an absolute favorite.</p> <p><strong>Tell us about a work you want to make but never will:</strong></p> <p>There are a few ideas in my mind&hellip; but what if I ever do make them?! Surely, I imagine one of them to be a public piece of an extremely large scale.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20180618080320-20180615192016-need_me_fafaliou3.JPG" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><em>Few things we left unsaid</em>, 2017, neon</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Who are three artists we should know but probably don&rsquo;t?</strong></p> <p>Helene Appel, Sara Barker, and <a href="http://chrysanthikoumianaki.com/" target="_blank">Chrysanthi Koumianaki</a>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&mdash;The ArtSlant Team</p> <p><em>ArtSlant is an open Arts community with over 200,000 free, user-generated&nbsp;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/intros/plans" target="_blank">artist profiles</a>. The support of our community is an essential part of our mission.&nbsp;Follow your favorite artists to see new work and exhibitions by adding them to your&nbsp;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/articles/show/11143" target="_blank">watchlist.</a></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Mon, 18 Jun 2018 01:06:02 -0700 https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Under the Radar: Jisoo Chung | Mo Sirra | Caroline Dahlberg <table style="width: 100%;"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <table align="center" border="0" style="width: 100%;"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p><span style="font-size: medium;"><em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; line-height: 24px;">ArtSlant is an open Arts community with over 200,000 free, user-generated <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/intros/plans?utm_source=Radar&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Subs" style="color: #097ff5; text-decoration: none;">artist profiles</a>. The support of our community is an essential part of our mission. Every week we select the best artist profiles from under the radar. </span></em></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium;"><em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; line-height: 24px;">Follow your favorite artists to see new work and exhibitions by adding them to your <a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/articles/show/11143" style="color: #097ff5; text-decoration: none;">watchlist.</a></span></em></span></p> <hr /> <p><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ams/artists/show/501530-jisoo-chung?utm_source=JisooChung&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar" style="text-decoration: none;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: large;"><span color="#097ff5" face="georgia, palatino" georgia="" large="" palatino="" size="4" style="color: #097ff5; text-decoration: none;">Jisoo Chung &ndash; Los Angeles</span></span></a></p> <p><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ams/works/show/1090064?utm_source=JisooChung&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1090064/u3azr9/20180222075758-Screen_Shot_2018-02-04_at_4.41.20_AM.png" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="100%" /></a></p> <table width="100%"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="padding 0px;" width="33%"><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ams/works/show/1090062?utm_source=JisooChung&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1090062/mf2ji7/20180222074721-1-1.Museum_Manners_for_Siri_still_image_.jpg" width="100%" /></a></td> <td style="padding 0px;" width="33%"><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ams/works/show/1090074?utm_source=JisooChung&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1090074/mf2ji7/20180222100829-17.1.hjk_still_img_.jpg" width="100%" /></a></td> <td style="padding 0px;" width="33%"><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ams/works/show/1090063?utm_source=JisooChung&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1090063/mf2ji7/20180222075711-2._A_better_Society_still_image_.jpg" width="100%" /></a></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <hr /> <p><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ams/artists/show/503433-mo-sirra?utm_source=MoSirra&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar" style="text-decoration: none;"><span style="color: #097ff5; font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: large;">Mo Sirra</span></a></p> <p><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ams/works/show/1097097?utm_source= MoSirra&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1097097/u3azr9/20180319142544-The_topography_of_my_mother_s_body_is_still_undefined.jpg" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="100%" /></a></p> <table width="100%"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="padding 0px;" width="33%"><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ams/works/show/1097127?utm_source=MoSirra&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1097127/u3azr9/20180319143313-What_if_he_redecorate_the_white_house.jpg" width="100%" /></a></td> <td style="padding 0px;" width="33%"><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ams/works/show/1096856?utm_source=MoSirra&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1096856/mf2ji7/20180319034644-1000_lamp_would_not_light_the_sky.jpg" width="100%" /></a></td> <td style="padding 0px;" width="33%"><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ams/works/show/1097132?utm_source=MoSirra&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1097132/u3azr9/20180319144613-Keeping_the_conversation_going.jpg" width="100%" /></a></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <hr /> <p><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ams/artists/show/502322-caroline-dahlberg?utm_source=CarolineDahlberg&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar" style="text-decoration: none;"><span color="#097ff5" face="georgia, palatino" size="4" style="color: #097ff5; font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: large;">Caroline Dahlberg &ndash; Chicago</span></a></p> <p><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ams/works/show/1092864?utm_source=CarolineDahlberg&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1092864/u3azr9/20180306225113-To_Pieces.png" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="100%" /></a></p> <table width="100%"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="padding 0px;" width="33%"><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ams/works/show/1092860?utm_source=CarolineDahlberg&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1092860/mf2ji7/20180306225037-human_crawl.jpg" width="100%" /></a></td> <td style="padding 0px;" width="33%"><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ams/works/show/1092851?utm_source=CarolineDahlberg&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1092851/mf2ji7/20180306224953-In_the_Act_of_Becoming.jpg" width="100%" /></a></td> <td style="padding 0px;" width="33%"><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ams/works/show/1092862?utm_source=CarolineDahlberg&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1092862/u3azr9/20180306225050-IMG_20170527_191750.jpg" width="100%" /></a></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <hr /> <p style="text-align: center;"><em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 24px;">ArtSlant supports thousands of contemporary artists through our outreach and exposure programs&mdash;come join the best online arts community today!</span></em></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <table align="center" style="margin: 0px auto;"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="padding 0px;" width="50%"><a href="https://www.artslant.com/par/foundation?utm_source=Radar&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Residency"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20150605182447-residency-logo-300.jpg" width="100%" /></a></td> <td style="padding 0px;" width="50%"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/intros/plans?utm_source=Radar&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Subs"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20150605182549-profile-subscriptions-logo-300.jpg" width="100%" /></span></a></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>&nbsp;</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> Thu, 26 Apr 2018 08:25:22 -0700 https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Txema Novelo Answers 5 Questions <p><em>This is&nbsp;5 Questions. Each week, we send five questions to an artist featured in&nbsp;<a href="https://www.artslant.com/ams/articles/show/43262-bunder-the-radar-terry-castle-txema-novelo-amy-leibrandb" target="_blank">Under the Radar</a>, our weekly email highlighting the best art on the ArtSlant network. This week we seek answers from <a href="https://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/89176-txema-novelo?tab=PROFILE" target="_blank">Txema Novelo</a>.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>What are you trying to communicate with your work?</strong></p> <p>Inspired by the work of Brion Gysin, Dan Graham, Genesis P-Orridge, my work proposes a meta-religion based on two main things: rock &amp; roll and mysticism. Functioning like a secret order that emphasizes the spiritual attributes of musical movements like the blues, rasta, Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth (TOPY), Texan sixties psychedelic rock, or German krautrock, I try to propose a new iconography based on the music and musicians that shaped counterculture in the 20th century. Through the use of sculpture, installation, video, and photography, I wanna bring back a sense of modern &ldquo;sacrality&rdquo; in the arts.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20180403133855-20140730232408-BLT.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><em>Bizarre Love Triangle</em>, 2013,&nbsp;Vinyl, album, turntable, photos, Variable dimensions. <strong>&copy;</strong>&nbsp;Courtesy of the artist and Yautepec Gallery</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>What is an artist&rsquo;s responsibility?</strong></p> <p>I believe we are living in the dusk of ideology, the &ldquo;Cambridge Analytical&rdquo; scandal shed light on this: you see a vegan Canadian young programmer, working for a firm that illegally spied on vulnerable groups in order to create a river of information that could determine their point of view. Who benefited politically from this? The Trump campaign. We live in a world where people live with the fruits of liberalism, but somehow get paid to dismantle them by putting fascists in power. The fact that this young man decided to leak the information came to me as a conscience call, but it didn&rsquo;t seem to come from an ideological stance necessarily. Ancient spirituality (not religion) through many civilizations, and many millennia, proved to be also a social technology. For example, Buddhist wisdom is based on three principles: &ldquo;no attachment, no aversion no ignorance.&rdquo; This algorithm worked effectively in a society that started to function above reason. Buddhism was the only religion that created a society without slavery, expansionism, colonialism, or imperialism, proving wrong that the human being seeks domination by nature. As an artist I feel more than ever the need to find a contemporary bridge to ancient wisdom, to dig deep in the many advances that many different societies achieved in the long path of conquering our lesser egoistic nature.&nbsp;</p> <p>The relationship with rock &amp; roll is a heretic one. I love that rock &amp; roll will turn a hundred years old in a few decades, but it still exists in marginality&mdash;you can go study fine arts but you can&rsquo;t go study rock &amp; roll (an outdated word for new wave, punk, post punk, synthesis, reggaeton). You can put millions of dollars on a rock &amp; roll artist, but that doesn&rsquo;t guarantee that the public taste will embrace it. It&rsquo;s still, to this day, one of the last democratic artistic practices in a world were contemporary art exists mainly for billionaires to speculate with. By matching the contemporary drive of modern counterculture with the ancient instruction manuals that belong to many ancient&nbsp;spiritual&nbsp;sources&mdash;Kabbalah, Sufism, Gnosticism, Paganism&mdash;I want to resist the capitalist agenda through refilling the spirit with something more than H&amp;M and Starbucks.</p> <p><strong>Show us the greatest thing you ever made:</strong></p> <p>The best thing I ever made is this little film called <em>D&eacute;jalo Ser</em> (Let It Be). It was done last year at the National Studio for Contemporary Arts LE FRESNOY in France, and shot in Oaxaca, Mexico. It&rsquo;s a strange omen to Yoko Ono, Antonin Artaud, and Mexican guru superstar Maria Sabina, with a very special appearance of social network superstar Molly Nilsson. Here&rsquo;s a little peak:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="394" mozallowfullscreen="" src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/218688041" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="700"></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><a href="https://vimeo.com/218688041" target="_blank">DEJALO SER TRAILER (ENG Subs)</a> from <a href="https://vimeo.com/txemanovelo" target="_blank">Txema Novelo</a></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Tell us about a work you want to make but never will:</strong></p> <p>I would love to design and create a pinball machine. To me pinballs are the contemporary automats of civilization. Their complexity, their aspect, their mechanics and sounds make them the ultimate gnostic machines (like the &ldquo;Uriel machine&rdquo; but more fun).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20180403133817-20170312003648-72_NOG.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><em>The 72 Names of God (From the Old Testament)</em>, 2017, New media. <strong>&copy;</strong>&nbsp;Centro Cultural Espa&ntilde;a en Mexico&nbsp;</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Who are three artists we should know but probably don&rsquo;t?</strong></p> <p><a href="https://www.japantimes.co.jp/culture/2013/09/04/arts/shuji-terayamas-underground-public-stage/#.WrKZN2bmHeQ" target="_blank">Shuji Terayama</a>, the Japanese Andy Warhol meets R.W. Fassbinder of the Japanese New Wave.</p> <p>I am sure you all know about <a href="http://iracohen.com/index.php/gallery/81/" target="_blank">Ira Cohen</a> but I am still gonna add him here just to pay our respects to the American psychedelic photography guru of the sixties.</p> <p>And last but not least, here are the &ldquo;Meridian Brothers,&rdquo; Colombia&rsquo;s greatest contemporary Situationist band, here with their instant classic &ldquo;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPYU5y_bzNQ" target="_blank">D&oacute;nde estas Mar&iacute;a?</a>&rdquo; with none other than Bo Diddley&rsquo;s &ldquo;It&rsquo;s Alright&rdquo; riff (that later Peter Kember&rsquo;s Spectrum also took during the nineties).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&mdash;The ArtSlant Team</p> <p><em>ArtSlant is an open Arts community with over 200,000 free, user-generated&nbsp;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/intros/plans" target="_blank">artist profiles</a>. The support of our community is an essential part of our mission.&nbsp;Follow your favorite artists to see new work and exhibitions by adding them to your&nbsp;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/articles/show/11143" target="_blank">watchlist.</a></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;">(Image at top: <em>Magick Dance</em>, 2011, Vinyl dance-steps, album, record player, photos, Variable dimensions. <strong>&copy;</strong>&nbsp;Halle 14 Leipzig)</span></p> Tue, 03 Apr 2018 06:44:58 -0700 https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list The Marginal Labor Left for Humans: Brett Wallace’s AMAZING INDUSTRIES <p><em>At </em><a href="http://www.springbreakartshow.com/"><em>SPRING/BREAK Art Show</em></a><em> 2018</em><em>, more than 100 curators will feature artists and exhibitions that consider the theme: Stranger Comes to Town. It&rsquo;s been said that all great literature boils down to one of two stories: a hero goes on a journey or a stranger comes to town. &ldquo;Who and what is this Stranger?&rdquo; ask SPRING/BREAK curators and founders, Ambre Kelly and Andrew Gori. &ldquo;Is their travel into the unknown always an act of heroism to some, of colonialism or contamination and infiltration to others?&rdquo;</em></p> <p><em>ArtSlant is </em><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/49225-the-artslant-prize-ix-at-springbreak-art-show-march-612"><em>exhibiting the ArtSlant Prize 2017 Winners</em></a><em> at SPRING/BREAK. In partnership with this uniquely site-specific, curatorial fair, we&rsquo;re featuring interviews with participating artists, asking them what sort of strangers they&rsquo;re bringing to town.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Over the past 18 months Brett Wallace has been researching the changes Amazon has produced in the labor sector. What began as a rather simple exhibition of boxes delivered to a gallery space has since ballooned into a full-on corporate entity called AMAZING INDUSTRIES. Using tools of the startup world to interrogate its own effects, Wallace has employed surveys, SWAG with minimal branding, and poignant provocations to develop a multi-pronged research engine, an &ldquo;ideological startup.&rdquo;</p> <p>For Wallace&rsquo;s exhibition with his gallery Silas Von Morisse Gallery at SPRING/BREAK Art Show 2018, he has hired a &ldquo;Turker&rdquo; to work in the booth. Turkers, or people who work on Amazon&rsquo;s Mechanical Turk platform, compete for low-bid, low skill busy work that is often used to train AI systems. The average Turker makes somewhere around $2/hour: Amazon has found a way to take advantage of a precarious labor force to train its own replacement.</p> <p>The centerpiece of AMAZING INDUSTRIES is a VR tour of the future of labor. Set in a virtual construction based on an actual Amazon patent for a floating drone distribution center, you, the worker, are taken through the neofactory where goods are no longer made but merely reallocated with peak price point efficiency. As the disembodied female narrator says, &ldquo;the floating factory is the ultimate manifestation of capital on the internet; part distribution warehouse, part data center.&rdquo; Amazon is well known for its veneration of efficiency, recently introducing tracking bracelets for warehouse employees to wear as they traverse the dozen-or-so miles of shelved corridors during a shift. The bracelet tracks how long it takes them to complete given tasks as well as providing training data for future, mechanical employees. In Wallace&rsquo;s adaptation, boxes marked &ldquo;culture&rdquo; zoom by on rollercoaster-like conveyor belts, gesturing to the conflation of culture as material product and therefore culture as labor. &ldquo;Work has spread to the home,&rdquo; it states.</p> <p>As labor invades the sanctuary of our homes, as our recreation becomes monetized, and marginal labor becomes necessary to live, how do we put the future of work to work for us?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20180306105407-brett_mastershot.jpg" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Joel Kuennen: What does &ldquo;Stranger Comes to Town&rdquo; mean to you, and how does this artwork engage with that theme?</strong></p> <p><strong>Brett Wallace: </strong>&ldquo;Stranger Comes to Town&rdquo; made me think of&nbsp;Marc Andreessen&rsquo;s quote &ldquo;software&nbsp;is&nbsp;eating the world.&rdquo; To me, Amazon is the archetype of a sprawling enterprise eating its way into everything from grocery stores to web services.&nbsp;There is a dissonance between how a company like Amazon works and what I thought the internet would be. I&rsquo;m interested in uncovering the hidden pockets of alienation and strangeness of the Amazon business model, especially the dimensions of it that we don&rsquo;t see every day, as a signifier of the future of work. One example of this would be how anonymous task-based human workers on Mechanical Turk, Amazon&rsquo;s online crowdsourcing platform, are filling out surveys and categorizing images, which are used to train machine learning and AI systems. It&rsquo;s strange how crowd-based work, within the context of an advanced technology company, is atomized to low wage tasks to train the machines that will soon make this work obsolete.</p> <p><strong>JK: Why has your research has taken the form of a startup?</strong></p> <p><strong>BW: </strong>The exhibition became the branded paradise of AMAZING INDUSTRIES, steeped in a research-based critique and exploration of this strangeness within accelerated capitalism, using Amazon as a jumping off point.&nbsp;Viewers will meet newly launched AMAZING INDUSTRIES,&nbsp;an ideological, research and development company I started with a mission to explore possible futures of work that are humane and equal.&nbsp;The ideological company is an ongoing artwork which aims to&nbsp;demystify the future of work and advocate for a better future for workers.&nbsp;Viewers will get a closer look into&nbsp;a floating factory, reimagined in VR and 360 video, based on an actual Amazon patent. From welcome videos to custom beanbags, the exhibition adopts the hyper-branding and counterculture language often seen in tech&rsquo;s startup culture, but with a twist to amplify workers&rsquo; voices.</p> <p>In constructing the work, it was important for me to leverage Amazon&rsquo;s systems, such as turning Mechanical Turk inward on itself, by creating paid tasks where workers could share their experiences working in this enterprise. This creates a sort of strange reverse mirroring, reflecting the worker&rsquo;s perspective back onto Amazon&rsquo;s own systems which are constructed to actually hide and diminish workers&rsquo; voices. So, there&rsquo;s also a strangeness to using a company&rsquo;s own methods and materials to create a multi-level exploration and critique of it.</p> <p align="center">&nbsp;</p> <p align="center"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="395" mozallowfullscreen="" src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/256322054" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="700"></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><a href="http://vimeo.com/256322054" target="_blank">AMAZING INDUSTRIES</a> Virtual Factory, 2018, VR game and 360 video</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>JK: Your work explores new forms of labor that are emerging after the largest disruption of retail distribution practices since the emergence of the internet, all through Amazon. Can you describe the new modes you are seeing and how your work confronts these nascent roles?</strong></p> <p><strong>BW:</strong> This is an ongoing project that explores archetypes in the future of work. The specific archetypes in this show are warehouse jobs inside the fulfillment center, picking and packing goods for shipment, and workers on Mechanical Turk, who perform human intelligence tasks. While neither role is brand new, what&rsquo;s interesting are some of the trends underpinning them. For example, I found it really interesting that most Turkers are employed and more than half of the workers (52 percent) hold a <a href="https://www.amazing.industries/writing/#_edn5" target="_blank">bachelor&rsquo;s degree or higher degree</a>. And, while the work is flexible and there is a freedom to it, many Turkers dislike the low pay and treatment from both Amazon and sketchy job requesters. A new <a href="https://arxiv.org/abs/1712.05796" target="_blank">task-level analysis</a> revealed that workers earned a median hourly wage of only ~$2 per hour and only 4 percent earned more than $7.25 per hour. Turkers deal with the low wages to make ends meet and share best practices to optimize their workflows as best they can. A friend of mine, who is a very experienced Turker, recently worked 12 hours one day and made $56.</p> <p><strong>JK: What is a typical task for a Turker and how does an ideological startup confront existing systems? </strong></p> <p><strong>BW:</strong> One of the most popular tasks on mTurk [the Mechanical Turk website] is image recognition, where these workers, through atomized tasks, are training machines to see like people.&nbsp;While this work is immaterial, it&rsquo;s constructed like a Fordist factory on steroids&mdash;where workers around the world are scouring through an archaic interface for tasks worth Turking for and are pumping out as many tasks as possible for pennies.</p> <p>As an artwork-as-company, the exhibition leverages the methods and materials of corporate communication to confront these systems, unveil this data and amplify the narratives of workers.&nbsp;As part of the show, I&rsquo;m releasing a short e-zine on amazing.industries this week that shares more of this data and stories. As my inquiry continues, I plan to continue to find ways to support workers. One example would be engaging the companies requesting this work and the developers building and maintaining these systems.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p align="center"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20180306105158-Screen_Shot_2018-03-06_at_11.51.39.png" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Data from, &ldquo;<a href="https://www.amazing.industries/writing/#_edn5" target="_blank">Inside the Automaton of Mechanical Turk</a>,&rdquo; Amazing.Industries, December 28, 2017</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>JK: You invited a Turker to be present during the exhibition and perform his work. Tell us a bit about what this type of labor is and how you view it in the context of Amazon.</strong></p> <p><strong>BW: </strong>Amazon Mechanical Turk is an online crowdsourcing marketplace, described as &ldquo;artificial artificial intelligence.&rdquo; What this means is that humans are performing micro-tasks from their homes which computers cannot yet do. The name was inspired by &ldquo;The Turk,&rdquo; a mechanical chess playing automaton, created by Wolfgang von Kempelen in the 18th century. What Kempelen&rsquo;s audience did not know is that a human chess master was hidden behind the gears of the automaton, controlling its movement.</p> <p>Like Kempelen&rsquo;s machine, the invisible crowd of workers on Mechanical Turk completes tasks which machines are unable to accomplish on their own. The use cases include activities such as &ldquo;image recognition, audio transcription, machine learning algorithm training, sentiment analysis, data normalization, and surveys.&rdquo; An example of a typical task would be  showing an image to a worker and asking: &ldquo;was this photo taken indoors or outdoors?&rdquo;</p> <p align="center">&nbsp;</p> <p align="center"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20180306105031-1___icbEYTu4C4oj1fBbaBvQ.jpeg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Source: &ldquo;<a href="https://blog.mturk.com/tutorial-how-to-label-thousands-of-images-using-the-crowd-bea164ccbefc" target="_blank">Tutorial: How to label thousands of images using the crowd</a>,&rdquo; Amazon.com, Accessed May 21, 2017</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I wanted to put a spotlight on this type of work, how it&rsquo;s being done and why, which led me to invite a full time Turker to work inside the exhibition.&nbsp;I felt it was important to make Turking, an abstract form of work, accessible and also re-contextualize it within a space outside of the home. In the context of Amazon, I found it interesting that one of the most technically advanced companies in the world would have a system in place where humans train machines and that there was so much asymmetry in the model. For example, Turkers don&rsquo;t have much of a say at all on mTurk [the Mechanical Turk website]. They are identified as standardized worker ID numbers, alienated from their identity, and their work can be rejected by a requester for no reason at all. All the while they are making ~$2-4 per hour and yet Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, is now the richest person in the world. This is a signifier of the times we are living in, where <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/jan/18/richest-62-billionaires-wealthy-half-world-population-combined" target="_blank">62 people in the world</a> own as much as the poorer half of the world&rsquo;s entire population. As someone who grew up in the working class alongside the internet,&nbsp;I felt compelled to better understand what&rsquo;s holding these systems in place and how I could be an advocate for Turkers.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>JK: How do these new forms of labor enforce precarious labor in your opinion?</strong></p> <p><strong>BW: </strong>These forms of labor look for the lowest wage labor possible and treat workers like numbers. The warehouse, in this case, has almost gone back to a Fordist factory on steroids, with its accelerated repetition and governance. I revisited Harun Farocki&rsquo;s film essay <em>Workers Leaving the Factory</em> while thinking about precarious labor. If the high quotas and intense scrutiny of warehouse employees weren&rsquo;t enough, earlier this month it was revealed that employee movement would be even further optimized with&nbsp;<a href="https://www.theverge.com/2018/2/1/16958918/amazon-patents-trackable-wristband-warehouse-employees" target="_blank">trackable bracelets.</a>&nbsp;All of this is leading to a huge turnover rate of warehouse employees every year.&nbsp;While these new technologies are rolled out, worker wages are generally stagnant and yet,&nbsp;<a href="file://localhost/about/blank" target="_blank">worker productivity</a> has steadily increased since the 1970s. These benefits in productivity are not making their way to workers.</p> <p>There is also precarity in a system like mTurk, which has no safety net or traditional benefits, for workers.&nbsp;These systems continue the trend away from direct employment and the worker&rsquo;s rights fought for by unions such as employment rights, unemployment benefits, the eight-hour workday, workers&rsquo; comp etc.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="395" mozallowfullscreen="" src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/258629681" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="700"></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><a href="https://vimeo.com/258629681" target="_blank">AMAZING INDUSTRIES FLOATING FACTORY_360_Tour</a></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>JK: Where does authority lie in these new labor systems?</strong></p> <p><strong>BW: </strong>I believe authority lies with the monopoly. We are seeing a business like Amazon leverage its power, such as pricing power, to take over one category after another, all the while maintaining this hidden, darker side of the business where workers are treated poorly. The conceptual idea that a company would want to eat the world is a part of the problem. I think it&rsquo;s important to ask what are we trying to solve for with these innovations? Are these innovations actually making the world a better place to live and work in or are there better things to work on?&nbsp;I would like to see more companies thinking about purpose when they think about the future of work.&nbsp;I am inspired by how many companies are rethinking their purpose and hope to see many more companies follow their lead.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Brett Wallace is an artist whose practice involves a multi-level exploration of the future of work.&nbsp;</em><em>His work involves conceptual interventions through video, narrative storytelling and installation.</em><em> He is currently represented by Silas Von Morisse gallery, where his first solo exhibition in New York took place in 2016. He is a member of NEW INC for 2017-2018, the world&rsquo;s first museum-led incubator, led by the New Museum.</em></p> <p><em>You can follow more of this project below:</em><br /> <em><a href="http://www.amazingindustries.com">www.amazing.industries</a></em><br /> <em>Instagram: @amazingindustries @</em>brettwallacenyc&nbsp;<em> @mturkarchive</em><br /> <em>Twitter: @</em>brett_wallace</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&mdash;<a href="https://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/153044-joel-kuennen?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Joel Kuennen</a></p> <p><em>Joel Kuennen is the Chief Operations Officer and a Senior Editor at ArtSlant.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;">(Image at top: Installation view of AMAZING INDUSTRIES at SPRING/BREAK Art Show, 2018. All images: Courtesy of the artist)</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Wed, 07 Mar 2018 08:13:34 -0800 https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list To Be Bad Is Not to Be Good: Katya Grokhovsky’s Performance Art <p><em>This essay is published on the occasion of the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/864246897070042/" target="_blank">ArtSlant Prize IX Winners Exhibition</a>&nbsp;at SPRING/BREAK Art Show, March 6&ndash;12, 2018.&nbsp;<a href="https://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/233356-katya-grokhovsky?tab=PROFILE" target="_blank">Katya Grokhovsky</a> is the ArtSlant Prize IX Third Prize winner.&nbsp;</em></p> <p><em>Other ArtSlant Prize IX catalogue essays: <a href="https://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/49222-creatures-like-us" target="_blank">David Rios Ferreira</a> &amp; <a href="https://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/49228-distorted-personhood-sabato-viscontis-dacalogue" target="_blank">Sabato Visconti</a></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Somewhere along the way, we lost it. Maybe it was the election, which ended in a sociopath Twitter addict becoming our president, or perhaps it was the exhaustion that followed. Or maybe it&rsquo;s just dealing with the business of living. Sometimes it is hard to tell.</p> <p>Artist Katya Grokhovsky has been through it, and she&rsquo;s come out the other side, but not in the way that you&rsquo;d expect. Her discovery? A character she refers to as simply &ldquo;Bad Woman,&rdquo; an awkward, clumsy entity who wears a leopard print fur coat, chunky white mask, blonde wig, pink tights, and sandals. She has a stuffed blue bird permanently affixed to her left shoulder. The only available documentation of this woman in the &ldquo;wild&rdquo; was shot by Grokhovsky, in her parent&rsquo;s backyard at home in Australia, where she grew up after emigrating from the Ukraine.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="394" mozallowfullscreen="" src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/201261256?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="700"></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Katya Grokhovsky,&nbsp;<em><a href="https://vimeo.com/201261256">Bad Woman</a></em>, 2017, 13 min.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Bad Woman appears lost. She tries multiple times to get comfortable in a wooden chair, but never seems to succeed. Her shifty movements are endearing and sensitive. Bad Woman herself is equal parts enticing and grotesque&mdash;she tries at being appealing, but for whom it is unclear. At times, she perches on this chair, almost mirroring the position of the blue bird on her shoulder. Her face is this mask, her gait is clumsy and bizarre. Another time, she tries settling down on a blanket, but still, nothing seems to be the right position. She is confined by her female form, and she knows it. Her look is much like Tonya Harding&rsquo;s deranged mother, LaVona, as played by Allison Janney in the film <em>I, Tonya</em> (2017). Both &ldquo;bad women&rdquo; always wear a fur coat and have a bird perched on her shoulder. The main difference here is that LaVona&rsquo;s is alive while Bad Woman&rsquo;s is a stuffed animal.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20180305151149-2.KatyaGrokhovskybadWomanMask.JPG" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Katya Grokhovsky, <em>Bad Woman</em>, 2017, Acrylic, paper, rubber, wig</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The term &ldquo;bad woman&rdquo; calls to mind more than a lost or socially rejected individual. There&rsquo;s Roxanne Gay&rsquo;s collection of essays <em>Bad Feminist</em>; there&rsquo;s Donald Trump calling Hillary Clinton a &ldquo;nasty woman&rdquo; during the presidential debates, around the same time he bragged about &ldquo;grabbing pussy&rdquo; to TV personality Billy Bush of <em>Access Hollywood</em>. Then there was the Women&rsquo;s March and pussy hats. I imagine Grokhovsky&rsquo;s Bad Woman as a clairvoyant woman, someone who knew that this would all happen, who could&rsquo;ve debunked the astrologers who wrongly predicted Hillary would win. It wasn&rsquo;t in the stars or the cards or fate. Bad Woman knew that sexist American culture would prevail, and bad women would stay bad, perhaps getting even &ldquo;worse.&rdquo; In this way, she&rsquo;s also literally &ldquo;bad to the bone,&rdquo; a badass woman but not in a cheesy &ldquo;girl power&rdquo; kinda way, the sort of #feminism that gives feminism a bad (as in, lame) name. Her disinterest in abiding to social norms is not a literal failure, but a performed one, and a rejection of all these social constructs. Bad Woman never does get comfortable in her domestic space, or in her own skin, and she doesn&rsquo;t give a shit.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>But she did not come out of thin air: Bad Woman was born out of a painterly revolt. Performance art came to Grokhovsky, who received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and trained as a painter, as a sort of rebellion. Yet, despite leaving the canvas behind for objects like the mask, the use of paint never left her practice. Indeed, she uses paint practically everywhere, liberally poured, or layered on with thickly laden strokes. The Bad Woman&rsquo;s clown-like mask is also heavily painted, with a type of viscosity to it. Influenced by artists such as Mike Kelley, Carolee Schneeman and Louise Bourgeois, Grokhovsky is naturally drawn to artists whose work combines performance, video, and objects.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="394" mozallowfullscreen="" src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/219255702?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="700"></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Katya Grokhovsky,&nbsp;<em><a href="https://vimeo.com/219255702" target="_blank">Bad Bunny</a></em>, 2017, 3 min.</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p>Which leads me away from Bad Woman and toward the giant bunny costume Grokhovsky uses in <em>Bad Bunny</em> (2017), filmed at the Wassaic Project Artist Residency, in a rural location, without the sounds of Australian birds in the background. Here the artist dresses in a bunny costume, wearing a bulbous green mask. With the camera at a fixed angle, she hops through a hula hoop, hangs in a tire swing, and generally wanders around, somewhat aimlessly. Without the constraints of gender, the rabbit does whatever it wants, not attempting to appear appealing for anyone else. At a certain point, the video slows down, capturing a slow motion roll of the bunny hula hooping. Hippity hoppity hop.</p> <p>The bunny costume may be a return to childhood, a freedom of sorts, but it is also the Playboy bunny, a symbol of hypersexualization. I don&rsquo;t think Grokhovsky was going for the latter, but the reference is impossible to avoid, even though much of her project is about deconditioning social norms.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20180305151111-3.KatyaGrokhovskyBadBunny.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Katya Grokhovsky, <em>Bad Bunny</em>, 2017, Video still</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It is for that reason I found myself perplexed and transfixed by Bad Woman. More than just an embodiment of the grotesque, she is this absurdist, bizarro individual, too eccentric for this world yet at the same time, accepting that yes, she is a part of it. Her path is unclear. But she will persist&mdash;not in the way of &ldquo;nevertheless, she persisted,&rdquo; another feminist refrain, coined in response to Senator Elizabeth Warren&rsquo;s actions on the senate floor: she continued speaking after the U.S. Senate tried to silence her objections to confirming Jeff Sessions as U.S. Attorney General. No. No. No! This Bad Woman is not playing into this game. She&rsquo;s not on a senate floor or encircled by people attempting to take selfies with her. Instead, she&rsquo;s unraveling the inner workings of it, ever so slowly, on her own, in her world, without interruption.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Alicia Eler is the author of&nbsp;The Selfie Generation: How Our Self Images Are Changing Our Notions of Privacy, Sex, Consent, and Culture&nbsp;(Skyhorse).&nbsp;She is the visual art critic/arts reporter at the&nbsp;Minneapolis Star Tribune, and is also published in&nbsp;New York Magazine, Harper&#39;s Bazaar, Guardian, New Inquiry, GLAMOUR, Aperture, Art21 Magazine,&nbsp;and&nbsp;many others.&nbsp;</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;">(Image at top: Katya Grokhovsky, <em>Bad Woman</em>, 2017, Video still. All images: Courtesy of the artist)</span></p> Thu, 08 Mar 2018 04:49:32 -0800 https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list A Stranger Comes to Town, and Takes the Art of Endurance to a New Level <p background-color:="" font-size:="" new="" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 11px; font-family: Georgia, Times, " times=""><em style="box-sizing: border-box;">At&nbsp;</em><em style="box-sizing: border-box; background-color: transparent; color: rgb(51, 122, 183); text-decoration-line: none; cursor: pointer; -webkit-tap-highlight-color: transparent;"><a href="http://www.springbreakartshow.com/" rel="nofollow" style="box-sizing: border-box; background-color: transparent; color: rgb(51, 122, 183); text-decoration-line: none; cursor: pointer; -webkit-tap-highlight-color: transparent;" target="_blank">SPRING/BREAK Art Show</a>&nbsp;2018</em><em style="box-sizing: border-box;">, more than 100 curators will feature artists and exhibitions that consider the theme: Stranger Comes to Town. It&rsquo;s been said that&nbsp;</em><em>all great literature boils down to one of two stories: a hero goes on a journey or a stranger comes to town. &ldquo;Who and what is this Stranger?&rdquo; ask SPRING/BREAK curators and founders, Ambre Kelly and Andrew Gori. &ldquo;Is their travel into the unknown always an act of heroism to some, of colonialism or contamination and infiltration to others?&rdquo;</em></p> <p background-color:="" font-size:="" new="" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 11px; font-family: Georgia, Times, " times=""><em style="box-sizing: border-box;">ArtSlant is&nbsp;<a href="https://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/49225-the-artslant-prize-ix-at-springbreak-art-show-march-612">exhibiting the ArtSlant Prize 2017 Winners</a>&nbsp;at SPRING/BREAK. In partnership with this uniquely site-specific, curatorial fair, we&rsquo;re featuring interviews with participating artists, asking them what sort of strangers they&rsquo;re bringing to town.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Kawita Vatanajyankur has been a wet, soapy rag used to mop the floor; she&rsquo;s been a bundle of damp laundry tossed into a plastic basket; a colander repeatedly submerged to rinse a tangle of cooked noodles; the beam of balance scale teetering under the weight of fresh vegetables.</p> <p>In short video vignettes, the 30-year-old Thai artist collapses the products and instruments of traditional women&rsquo;s work into the worker herself, merging body and machine, person and product. In her high-endurance performances Vatanajyankur transforms her body quite literally into the tools of labor, tapping into the complex dynamics of identity and otherness embedded in the quotidian&mdash;from the home to the marketplace.</p> <p>Curated by Alexandra Fanning, Vatanajyankur&rsquo;s exhibition <em>Rituals of Otherness</em> at SPRING/BREAK Art Show explores the intersecting shapes of alienation found in the shared gestures of immigrants, women, and domestic workers. When the Bangkok-based artist returned to Thailand after living and studying in Australia, she felt like an outsider in her home country, observing with fresh eyes the differences and gaps in tradition and expectations for women.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20180302170834-ScaleofJustice.alamak.kawitav.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: 12px;">Kawita Vatanajyankur,&nbsp;<em>The Scale of Justice</em>, 2017, Single channel HD video, looped, No sound, Dimensions variable</span></p> <div>&nbsp;</div> <p>Vatanajyankur&rsquo;s videos (which she describes as &ldquo;moving paintings&rdquo;) are seductive by design. The narrative premise of each work is simple, even humorous, and she constructs her scenes with juicy fruits and colorful textiles, set against candy-colored backdrops. Once Vatanajyankur has your attention, however, her videos can be quite hard to watch. You see the artist&rsquo;s veins pulse, her muscles contract. She gasps for breath. In <em>The Scale of Justice</em>, the artist balances her body in a plank position, her hips pressed against a narrow bar. Baskets of produce hang from her neck and ankles. Over the two-and-a-half-minute performance, as vegetables are tossed onto &ldquo;the scale&rdquo; from offscreen, we watch her shoulders slump, her knees bend, just slightly, her core muscles fight the weight of her burden. There is no trickery here. Vatanajyankur&rsquo;s body is a punished instrument.</p> <p>There is a personal, cultural interrogation in this work, unique to the artist and her circumstances as a Thai woman moving between different countries. But Vatanajyankur also takes a wide lens, thinking about invisible labor and supply chains. She reminds us that even in our automated, robot-enhanced present, someone is picking up the slack&mdash;and she might be underpaid, living far from home. Or maybe she&rsquo;s working <em>in</em> the home. Using the optics of marketing&mdash;those jewel-toned backdrops and luscious fruit and veg&mdash;Vatanajyankur gives vision to the people, labor, and daily practices that have become strange to us because we&rsquo;re not supposed to see them.</p> <p>In Vatanajyankur&rsquo;s work, the stranger has not come to town; the stranger is already among us. She&rsquo;s here in our homes, our things. She&rsquo;s in our food and our clothing. She&rsquo;s in our bodies, our gestures, our rituals. Through mindfulness and care, Vatanajyankur seems to propose, we can hijack the global capitalist system and reconnect to this other within us.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20180302171924-Kawita-Vatanajyankur-01-Ontofabrics-01-Ontofabrics1_copy.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Kawita Vatanajyankur,&nbsp;<em>Onto Fabrics</em>, 2014, Single channel HD video, looped, No sound, Dimensions variable</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Andrea Alessi: Can you describe the concept of <em>Rituals of Otherness</em>? How do you see this exhibition engaging with the theme &ldquo;Stranger Comes to Town&rdquo;?</strong></p> <p><strong>Kawita Vatanajyankur:</strong> When the curator Alexandra Fanning, came to me with this theme, I immediately connected this with my experiences of feeling alienated, without a place or a home, culturally different wherever I went. I see myself as a stranger in both Australia and in Thailand, residing somewhere in the middle, without a defined identity. This was, and is, my journey, a very personal part of my story that I feel many people can relate to with our changing world.</p> <p>As I grew up as an Australian teenager, coming back to Thailand had made me an outsider. This time I had to revert back into a girl who had never left Thailand, I was growing up again to become a Thai woman in order to fit in, to be accepted by the social and cultural rules of society. It was almost like a shift of identity, like I was experiencing a new culture. A definition of my identity was lost as my eagerness to fit in grew; I became unknown to myself.</p> <p>In a lot of my work, but especially in the <em>Tools</em> series, on view in <em>Rituals of Otherness</em>, I reference European 17th century painting scenes where women were often seen in domestic household environments, performing menial housework. I personally related to those European paintings when coming back to Thailand where women are often expected to be an emotional shelter of their homes, and extremely domestic. By questioning my own identity as a female, asking myself where I stood in this society, the performances had suddenly brought this power and strength to my inner state. Making this artwork freed me from all definition; it made me and my audience seek out this truth beyond tradition, society&rsquo;s beliefs and perceptions, and beyond image.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20180302170944-9_KAWITA_VATANAJYANKUR_Wet_Rag.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Kawita Vatanajyankur, <em>Wet Rag</em>, 2014, Single channel HD video, looped, No sound, Dimensions variable</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>AA: This recent body of work was conceived while you were living and working in Australia. How has your artwork and practice evolved through working and exhibiting outside of Thailand?</strong></p> <p><strong>KV:</strong> Most of the pieces on view at the SPRING/BREAK Art Show were made in my early stages of becoming an artist. I had just graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts at RMIT University in Melbourne, and signed myself with a commercial gallery there before moving back to Thailand.</p> <p>Exhibiting these works outside of Thailand; interacting and learning from my audience has enabled me to grow my practice immensely. I feel truly connected with the world through my art. A recent example, when exhibiting work in Japan, the locals tended to relate to the parody between human and tools, how the human condition consists of working, action, and labor. Several women also reacted strongly to the feminist aspect.</p> <p>I&rsquo;ve noticed that work tends to be recognized as a connection to our universal need for repetitively working and relying on money as our survival tool. How we are all governed by our income, how we struggle and crave to be successful, how we are all stuck in this continuing loop of desire and failure.</p> <p>Showing around the world and experiencing residencies in fascinating places has definitely affected my most recent works. I&rsquo;ve focused heavily on the slippage between human, tools, and machines, but I would like to focus more on how we crave this power and success yet we tend to miss out on other aspects in life such as nature and humanity, all the while modern technologies are steadily replacing us both in work and body.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20180302171104-Kawita-Vatanajyankur-03-Play-01-TheBasket.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20180302171113-Kawita-Vatanajyankur-03-Play-02-TheBasket.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20180302171122-Kawita-Vatanajyankur-03-Play-03-TheBasket.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Kawita Vatanajyankur, <em>The Basket</em>, 2014, All: Inkjet Printed on Premium Satin Photo paper</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>AA: In your videos, your body often becomes the instrument of labor&mdash;often under- or un-paid domestic labor&mdash;collapsing the worker and the work. Can you talk about the representation of the body and labor in your practice?</strong></p> <p><strong>KV:&nbsp;</strong>I have particularly targeted my Thai homeland in these images as it is fascinating that, traditionally, women are left with this burden. By transforming my own body into tools or machines, I draw focus to everyday repetitive labor and work, but I am also pointing at the unseen stories, the labor that happens to produce not only the product, but the packaging, the advertising.</p> <p>I strongly believe in the terrifying power behind our current materialized and industrialized consumerist world. Most of the power belongs to huge industries, where social media and advertising pushes products on consumers with the promises of fulfilling our desires to be &ldquo;perfect,&rdquo; using psychological tools to hypnotize us, making us want more. From small unimportant details like consuming bananas, for example: the ones that look bendy enough (in a perfect shape) are the only ones to be put into stores and supermarkets while the others could go to waste. This waste has to be transported, sorted, and disposed of&mdash;a laborious job.</p> <p>I consider the end result and how products end up on shelves. For example, by purchasing a can of tuna, we all tend to think by looking at the beautiful and colorful packaging that they come from machines, yet we all know so little about the truth that has been going on behind the scenes. Unfortunately hidden issues of human trafficking, labor exploitation, or forms of slavery are often used to make that end product.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20180302171210-TheScale_fixed.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Kawita Vatanajyankur, <em>The Scale</em>, 2017, Inkjet Printed on Premium Satin Photo paper</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>AA: What&rsquo;s the relationship between the candy-colored aesthetic and your work&rsquo;s underlying message?</strong></p> <p><strong>KV:&nbsp;</strong>I look at the candy-colored palette of my videos as referencing advertisements and the marketing industry, mimicking those vibrant and colorful posters and packages that advertise our favorite consumerist products. It is funny how colors can trick our feelings and emotions. There is something quite sinister about the fun colors of the videos, against the often violent movements in the videos, perhaps they remind viewers of some beautiful aerobic circus performance on first look, however on deeper inspection you realize that there is a darker story to each.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20180302171317-Carrierleft.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Kawita Vatanajyankur, <em>Carrier I</em>, 2017, Inkjet Printed on Premium Satin Photo paper</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>AA: I read that you seriously injured yourself, even getting vertigo, making your video <em>Carrier</em>. There is clearly a level of physical commitment and endurance that is central to your work. What&rsquo;s it like to perform in these vignettes? What&rsquo;s the process of developing and making one of your videos?</strong></p> <p><strong>KV:&nbsp;</strong>It usually takes around a month to practice the performance itself, before the filming begins. I want the finished video to document the performance, and give the viewer the a realistic impression of being in the room with me. Practice and preparation involves meditating, exercising, and adjusting the physicality of my body in order to act like a tool, an object, a machine. The performances are not edited in terms of timing or creating illusions. However, as I treat these works as paintings, and my footage as a &ldquo;canvas,&quot; I usually take two to three weeks to color-correct, enhancing the vibrance of the background and objects.</p> <p><em>Carrier</em> was a work I truly wanted to make significant. It was created for the Australian Centre for Photography and explored the shift of my identity while considering the move back to Thailand from Australia. During the performance, the ropes that held me fell down, and my head hit the floor several times. I have had vertigo ever since.</p> <p>Meditation has always been key to performing these endurance works. When I perform nowadays, my vertigo adds another challenge. It forces me to truly let go of myself and to reach a point where I no longer feel any pain physically and psychologically. I believe that if I can conquer it during my meditative performance pieces, I can truly convince my audience that strength comes from within, that the first steps to healing should be controlling our mind.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&mdash;<a href="https://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/95201-andrea-alessi?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Andrea Alessi</a></p> <p><em>Andrea Alessi is the Managing Editor of ArtSlant.</em></p> <p><br /> <span style="font-size:12px;">(Image at top: Kawita Vatanajyankur, <em>Colander</em>, 2017, Single channel HD video, looped, Dimensions variable. All images: Courtesy of the artist)</span></p> Mon, 05 Mar 2018 11:50:59 -0800 https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list A Dog in the Fight: The Exploitation of Animals in Art <p>We kill them, hunt them, destroy their habitats and communities, display them, wear, buy, use, and discard them. Occasionally we attempt to save them from what we&#39;ve done. Animals are the original victims of helotry, oppressed and wherever possible forced into servitude in pursuit of humankind&rsquo;s betterment. Our presumption of ownership, and mistreatment in the name of religious rituals, clothing, entertainment, or work is the eternal hallmark of our depravity. In the art world, animals, dead and alive, are too often procured as raw material, justified by inauthentic claims of raising issues regarding their plight, or as metaphors for our own appetites. In the most egregious cases, they are not more than tortured vehicles, driven hard in pursuit of undeserved attention.</p> <p>Art is supposed to be out in front of its society, a clarion vision of what is coming. Or, it responds to what is, or has recently happened, elucidating problems that might otherwise slip beneath the streaming, digital sludge that is visual life today. Animal abuse is never <em>out</em> of the news, and nobody can assert ignorance of it unless willfully. So what points are artists who inflict it, flirt with it, or denigrate an animal&rsquo;s dignity, adding to our collective consciousness? Most often they expose only their own limitations by placing art behind the curve, at the back of the conversation, chasing, rather than alerting.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <table align="center" width="600"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="padding: 10px;"> <p style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: large; color: rgb(31, 31, 31); text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-large;"><em>Art is supposed to be out in front of its society... artists who abuse animals place art behind the curve, at the back of the conversation.</em></span></p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Physical Harm</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20180126094853-helena.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Marco Evaristti,&nbsp;<em>Helena</em>. Courtesy of <a href="https://www.evaristti.com/helena-el/" target="_blank">the artist</a></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Rightfully, there is little tolerance for artists who have most shockingly pained or executed animals. Among them is Tom Otterness, who once shot and <a href="https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/19/tom-otterness-central-subway-contract_n_970040.html" target="_blank">killed a dog</a> and is now reduced to littering subway stations with his asinine, gnomish globules straight from the clearance shelves of a Christmas store in January. So lurid is the shadow of his action that even creative <a href="http://gothamist.com/2014/09/05/otterness_shot_dog_statue.php" target="_blank">responses</a> to his shame seem smug and predictable; Jesse Power, and his cohorts hanged, slit the throat of, and <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/27/movies/a-selfproclaimed-artist-and-an-inexplicable-act-of-cruelty.html" target="_blank">disemboweled a cat</a>, apparently as some form of artistic investigation; the infantile antics of Marco Evaristti include inviting his audience to <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/3040891.stm">liquefy goldfish</a> (two were killed); while <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tinkebell" target="_blank">Katinka Simonse</a>&nbsp;(Tinkebell), <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2008/mar/30/art.spain" target="_blank">Guillermo Vargas</a>, <a href="http://www.nathaliaedenmont.com/change/" target="_blank">Nathalia Edenmont</a>, and many others are gratingly coy in acknowledging the veracity of their processes or one-liner art, garnering them notoriety, without quite proving the amorality or illegality of their actions.</p> <p>As was widely reported over the last few months, several works in the Guggenheim&rsquo;s recent exhibition <em><a href="https://www.guggenheim.org/exhibition/art-and-china-after-1989-theater-of-the-world" target="_blank">Art and China After 1989: Theater of the World</a></em> stirred public consternation, causing several pieces to be withdrawn. Huang Yong Ping&rsquo;s titular piece consists of a domed, gladiatorial arena containing insects, arachnids, and reptiles, imprisoned in unnatural proximity, and left to consume each other in bloody combat. The piece has <a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/entertainment/vancouver-insect-art-exhibit-removed-1.658916" target="_blank">faced controversy before</a>. Coming into the Guggenheim, artist and museum both knew the reactions they would receive, but crept ahead anyway behind that insufferable shield of artistic license.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="394" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/a-vxuesH75w" width="700"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Other banished works include a video of Sun Yuan and Peng Yu&rsquo;s 2003 work&nbsp;<em>Dogs That Cannot Touch Each Other</em>&nbsp;featuring pairs of pit bulls leashed to treadmills, facing each other, snarling and agitated just beyond each other&rsquo;s reach, and&nbsp;Xu Bing&rsquo;s 1994 film&nbsp;<em>A Case Study of Transference</em>&nbsp;depicting&nbsp;two swine having sex, stamped with English and Chinese textual motifs.</p> <p>This is not to infer that artists best avoid utilizing animals within, or as, art <em>at all.</em> Whether an artist <em>ought </em>to make an artwork is a quite different conversation from demanding that they <em>mustn&rsquo;t. </em>But if we do not expect artists to move past our basest urges, if we cannot require them to be clever enough to surpass sophomorism and exalt discourse, then the societal potential of art is surrendered to self-indulgence and grotesque snuff tactics.</p> <p>Perhaps no occasion illuminates the point more vividly than deranged animal abuser and all-star sociopath Kim Jones&rsquo; repellent 1976 crime <em>Rat Piece</em>, which comprised the burning alive of three male rats. Set to their agonized, screaming deaths, the artist romped about covered in mud as a toddler might. While it doesn&rsquo;t merit critical attention as art, it reverberates as much for the selfishness of his response, as his unhinged cruelty.</p> <p>&ldquo;People still get upset about it,&rdquo; Jones <a href="https://books.google.nl/books?id=-Y4AAwAAQBAJ&amp;pg=PT145&amp;lpg=PT145&amp;dq=%25E2%2580%259CI+can+understand+that+because+I+tortured+the+animals+to+death,+but+it+was+important+for+me+to+have+that+experience+as+an+art+piece.%25E2%2580%259D&amp;source=bl&amp;ots=2XTh9Y_-yP&amp;sig=Xws1yG0PD1-kZyUYGdk9BwIS9Rw&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ved=0ahUKEwiz7vCu5_DYAhXSIlAKHXRgCpgQ6AEIKTAA%23v=onepage&amp;q=%25E2%2580%259CI%2520can%2520understand%2520that%2520because%2520I%2520tortured%2520the%2520animals%2520to%2520death%252C%2520but%2520it%2520was%2520important%2520for%2520me%2520to%2520have%2520that%2520experience%2520as%2520an%2520art%2520piece.%25E2%2580%259D&amp;f=false" target="_blank">has said</a>. &ldquo;I can understand that because I tortured the animals to death, but it was important for me to have that experience as an art piece.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Less Extreme Use of Animals and Dignity Infringement</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20180126093214-6889090241_423090e11e_b.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Darren Bader installation at MoMA PS1, 2012. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/garrettziegler/6889090241/" target="_blank">Garrett Ziegler</a></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In relatively benign cases such as Naveen Thomas&rsquo;s <a href="https://www.hindustantimes.com/india/artiste-in-soup-for-confining-pigeons/story-uav2W3ytGVPLxRRjD0VQHL.html" target="_blank">pigeon and copper wire installation</a>, or Miru Kim&rsquo;s laughable Beuys homage, <em><a href="http://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/miru-kims-nude-art-with-pigs-made-them-sick-activist-says-6385782" target="_blank">I Like Pigs and Pigs Like Me</a></em>, welfare remains of concern, if not perhaps, outright alarm. There is another concern though: the abuse of art itself through the meritless futility of such pathetically superficial artworks.</p> <p>The vapidness of many animals-as-artworks further erodes the public&rsquo;s already tenuous relationship with contemporary art as anything relatable or substantive, because while it is relatively easy to make work with animals, it is exceedingly difficult to make <em>successful</em> work with animals. It requires a balancing of the affection in which animals are held generally, a note of humility and extreme care, with simply stated commentary on universally accessible experiences that may be highlighted by the animals&rsquo; presence.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <table align="center" width="600"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="padding: 10px;"> <p style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: large; color: rgb(31, 31, 31); text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-large;"><em>Just because a gallery gives you enough room to swing a cat doesn&rsquo;t mean it&rsquo;s advisable.</em></span></p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Darren Bader <a href="http://observer.com/2012/04/when-is-a-cat-not-a-cat-when-its-a-sculpture/" target="_blank">displayed cats</a> in a gallery, and referred to them as artworks. They were not artworks; they were cats. Bader&rsquo;s sanctimonious, semantic aggrandizing is the kind of hollow gesture that critics behold with glee for its attempted subversion of staple terms. But just because a gallery gives you enough room to swing a cat doesn&rsquo;t mean it&rsquo;s advisable. It was a clumsy lurch at the boundaries of material definition, but at least the cats were presumably well cared for&mdash;if not entirely comfortable&mdash;and available for adoption. The employment of art world terms to describe matter that is jarringly incongruous to that assertion can be a sign of a marketing-savvy artist, but one in creative disarray. Wim Delvoye submitted to the same tactic, when he referred to <a href="https://wimdelvoye.be/work/art-farm/tattooed-pigs-1/" target="_blank">his tattooed pigs</a>, as &ldquo;canvasses.&rdquo;</p> <p>Additionally, a great handicap of using live creatures is that animals are more intriguing and captivating in and of themselves, than anything an artist might try to say <em>through</em> them. The audience then is engaged by the natural wonder of proximity to even a relatively common animal. At that juncture art&rsquo;s feebleness in surmounting such fascination is exposed, and its messaging is lost. Here, the zookeeper is of greater value than the artist.</p> <p>Jannis Kounellis&rsquo;&nbsp;<em><a href="http://www.artnews.com/2015/06/25/kounellis-horses-have-first-u-s-showing-at-gavin-browns-enterprise/" target="_blank">Untitled (12 Horses)</a></em> might have set up a lovely experience, but that is because horses are marvelous, not because Gavin Brown says they are art. Artists then must be aware of these challenges and be capable of managing them; most aren&rsquo;t. Instead they succumb to the lure of the quick buck of notice that animals can bring. Perhaps museums and galleries don&rsquo;t care about the wider consequences of inauthenticity or degenerating art&rsquo;s reputation, but they might, for otherwise they are steering their very own Titanic.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20180126170754-7588637124_4f9ad4423f_k.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: 12px;">Human, the dog, in artwork by Pierre Huyghe. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/mischah/7588637124/" target="_blank">Mischahr</a></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p>An approximate guide to animal treatment&mdash;and how to utilize them smartly&mdash;could be whether we might like to be displayed in a museum without consultation as to the circumstances: to have our legs <a href="https://unframed.lacma.org/2014/11/26/human-pierre-huyghe%25E2%2580%2599s-dog-residence" target="_blank">painted pink</a>; to be locked in a room with a coyote (as Beuys notoriously subjected a coyote to involuntary containment with a human); or to be rehoused in a contrived environment <a href="https://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/47812-anicka-yi-life-is-cheap" target="_blank">pumped full of &ldquo;hybrid scent&rdquo;</a> to engineer the nonsense notion of &ldquo;psychic exchange&rdquo; with a colony of ants. As we know primevally when we have been violated, so we know when we have violated, even notionally. Denial is a choice. Using <em>any</em> animal expressly killed as material&mdash;<a href="https://news.artnet.com/art-world/damien-whats-your-beef-916097" target="_blank">or one million animals, as in Damien Hirst&rsquo;s case</a>&mdash;or merely a living and seemingly unharmed animal, is always going to be fraught, if by a matter of degrees. But if art has any interest in hoisting the aspirations and vision of humanity, leaving living animals alone is a prudent choice. There is just no need.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The Sliding Scale of Acceptabilities</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20180126095314-13965208913_d7edf5597a_k.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Cai Guo Qiang,&nbsp;<em>Head On</em>, Installation view from&nbsp;<em>Falling Back to Earth</em>, GOMA. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/cathy-j-ross/13965208913/" target="_blank">seejayarr</a></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="text-align: center;">And yet, animals are a part of our lives, our families. We are going to make work about them, as civilizations always have&mdash;our Paleolithic ancestors carved into rocks and sketched onto cave walls far more animals than humans.</span></p> <p>Taxidermy, roadkill, or otherwise deceased creatures or their remains are a different matter. If an animal&rsquo;s demise was not met directly to become art, then where are the lines of what is and isn&rsquo;t acceptable for artists availing themselves of the carcass or remnants?</p> <p>Chinese artist, Cai Guo Qiang&rsquo;s <em><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2013/nov/27/falling-back-to-earth-a-simple-message-of-survival" target="_blank">Head On</a></em> is not only visually spectacular, but its execution, combined with the artist&rsquo;s conceptual intelligence makes his work far more effective as &ldquo;metaphors for humans&rdquo; than the dubious endeavors of his Guggenheim compatriots. The wolves are fashioned from sheepskin, painted and modeled. By tapping the grandeur and mythological resonance of lupine grace, he acknowledges their majesty, while their likenesses speak simply, and sensitively of our experiences. Similarly, <em><a href="http://www.caiguoqiang.com/projects/heritage" target="_blank">Heritage</a></em> comprises various animals hewn from goat hide.</p> <p>But what about the sheep and goats? Had they been slaughtered for the piece, there would also have been a negative response, but if they were lifted from another industry&mdash;food?&mdash;where death was inevitable, tensions are reduced and art can slip in the back door. Perhaps our responses are based not only on hierarchies of animals&rsquo; values and our culturally engineered sensibilities that farm animals are fair game for mass consumption while elephants and giraffes are sacrosanct. It&rsquo;s complicated. If it were only about the status we have conferred onto certain animals in the West, nobody would have cared about three rats. Reactions surely include the majority&rsquo;s innate sense of right and wrong, something that becomes increasingly subjective and personal, though nevertheless influenced by the dominant ideology of carnism, as we move away from the extremes of dog-shooting and cat-disemboweling.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <table align="center" width="600"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="padding: 10px;"> <p style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: large; color: rgb(31, 31, 31); text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-large;"><em>Our innate sense of right and wrong becomes increasingly subjective as we move away from the extremes of dog-shooting and cat-disemboweling.</em></span></p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p><br /> <a href="http://jordaneagles.com/" target="_blank">Jordan Eagles</a> works with animal blood from an abattoir&mdash;the byproduct of deaths he has no hand in&mdash;to create sculptural objects of incandescent beauty, thrumming with the cycle of life, spiritual contemplation, and cosmological wonder. He in fact has gone a step further, in his <em><a href="http://jordaneagles.com/blood-mirror/" target="_blank">Blood Mirror</a></em> project, which consists of donated human blood, a remonstrance against prejudice and scientific omission regarding governmental blood donation policy pertaining to gay and bisexual men. He is aware of the violence inherent in the animal-blood&rsquo;s origin, but its reconstitution is handled with nobility and respect.</p> <p>Kimberly Withal <a href="https://roadsideresurrections.wordpress.com" target="_blank">fashions roadkill</a> she finds in her home state of New Jersey into still life vignettes and photographs them. They are exquisite images, that highlight the brevity of life and the melancholy of its passing. After the artwork is completed, she buries the remains as a reverential conclusion to physical presence.</p> <p>Perhaps, as it is for many regarding the ethics of food production and consumption, it is less that we eat animals, but how we treat them on their way to our plates that is of concern. Including the hide of a plentiful animal that most accept as edible&mdash;and hopes [peeking through fingers]<peeking fingers="" through="">&nbsp;<peeking fingers="" through="">has been well raised and well killed&mdash;permits the artwork to stand higher than its parts. Or maybe history will not look kindly upon any artwork employing the bodies or residue of animals. Today at least, for the science and food industries, animals are routinely experimented upon or slaughtered en masse, and the matter is controversial, but the greater good of medical advancement or a population&rsquo;s sustenance mutes much opposition; grumbling tolerance is reached for these inconvenient truths. But times, appetites, and awareness are changing. Like entertainment (Ringling Bros. pitched its final tent in 2017, in part because of animal rights activism and societal pressure), art just isn&rsquo;t as vital to our survival, and so lacks any such moral defense.</peeking></peeking></p> <p>Of his <em>A Case Study of Transference</em>, involving the stamped pigs having sex, Xu Bing, has&nbsp;<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/20/arts/design/guggenheim-art-and-china-after-1989.html">stated</a> that, &ldquo;Animals are completely uncivilized and Chinese characters are the expression of supreme civilization.&rdquo;</p> <p>It&rsquo;s a statement counter to our anthropomorphization of&nbsp; &ldquo;terms of venery&rdquo; wherein we have bestowed upon groups of animals a sense of our most dignified and aspirational institutions&mdash;a congress of baboons, a parliament of owls, a committee of vultures&mdash;while we fail in such aspirations ourselves. If genuine, not only does this moronic comment expose the man&rsquo;s imperialistic haughtiness, but it throws into contrast an ironic point, quite missed in this debate. Animals tend not to mutilate or kill each other for fun, sport, or false religious superstition, permit their prejudices to disenfranchise their own kind, or bankrupt their own social structures. When considering art that involves the degradation of our fellow creatures, or society&rsquo;s pillage of them generally, it isn&rsquo;t animals that lack civility. It is us.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/16357-darren-jones?tab=REVIEWS" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Darren Jones</a>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Darren Jones is a Scottish, US-based critic and artist. His new book,&nbsp;with David Carrier,&nbsp;</em>The Contemporary Art Gallery: Display, Power and Privilege,<em>&nbsp;is available now.</em></p> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size:12px;">(Image at top:&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 12px; text-align: center;">Joseph Beuys,&nbsp;</span><em style="font-size: 12px; text-align: center;">I Like America and America Likes Me</em><span style="font-size: 12px; text-align: center;">, 1974, Performance. Photo: via&nbsp;</span><a href="https://www.wikiart.org/en/joseph-beuys/i-like-america-and-america-likes-me" style="font-size: 12px; text-align: center;" target="_blank">WikiArt</a>)</div> Fri, 26 Jan 2018 09:26:35 -0800 https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list