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Monthly Archives: December 2012

But what of the collaboration between science and the arts? Are we really prepared to live with a permanent cultural schism? If we are serious about unifying human knowledge, then we’ll need to create a new movement that coexists with the third culture but that deliberately trespasses on our cultural boundaries and seeks to create relationships between the arts and the sciences. The premise of this movement—perhaps a fourth culture—is that neither culture can exist by itself. Its goal will be to cultivate a positive feedback loop, in which works of art lead to new scientific experiments, which lead to new works of art and so on. Instead of ignoring each other, or competing, or co-opting each other in naïve or superficial ways, science and the arts will truly impact each other. The old intellectual boundaries will disappear. Neuroscience will gain new tools with which to confront the mystery of consciousness and modern physics will improve its metaphors. Art will become a crucial source of scientific ideas…At the same time, the sciences must recognize that their truths are not the only truths. No single area of knowledge has a monopoly on knowledge. As Karl Popper, an eminent defender of science wrote, “It is imperative that we give up the idea of ultimate sources of knowledge, and admit that all knowledge is human; that it is mixed with our errors, our prejudices, our dreams, and our hopes; that all we can do is to grope for truth even though it is beyond our reach.” The struggle for scientific truth is long and hard and never ending. If we want to get an answer to our deepest questions—the questions of who we are and what everything is—we will need to draw from both science and art, so that each completes the other.

-Jonah Lehrer (Seed magazine article)

In the film The Cool School about LA’s game-changing Ferus Gallery (the gallery that all but created their now-dominant art scene by supporting and nurturing local artists), founder Walter Hopps mentions that there are five things needed for a healthy art city:

“1: Artists to make the work
2: Galleries to support it
3: Critics to celebrate it
4: Museums to establish it
5: and collectors to buy it”

– Nathaniel Smith (letoile arts article)

“My tastes in art are not dissimilar from my taste in music (Wire, Big Black, Joy Division) or movies (Kubrick, Bunuel, Scorsese) all of which tend towards angst, black humor, irony, obliqueness, existentialism, and anti-heroics (and in the case of the movies, intense, well-constructed visuals.) That said, the shows I’ve done at the MCA are only a partial reflection of my taste (and my taste as mediated by the larger vision of the institution.)

I think many of the shows that I’ve done here at the MCA reflect my interest in work that has a certain tension between emotionally intense content or subject matter and coolly detached formal execution (Sharon Lockhart, Gillian Wearing, and to some degree Wolfgang Tillmans.) Other artists I really admire/would love to work with include Mike Kelley, Aida Ruilova, Richard Kern, Jim Lambie, Eva Rothschild, Richard Hawkins, Paulina Olowska, Douglas Gordon, Richard Rezac, Slater Bradley, Marc Camille Chaimowicz, Paul McCarthy, Richard Prince, Daria Martin, Anselm Reyle, and Ashley Bickerton, among many many others.

I think my taste is a little more inclined towards weirder and more willfully dark and perverse things than it was a while ago (when I was much more conceptually-minded.) I’m not a huge fan of overly earnest, overproduced, and melodramatic video or photography, and am not so keen on do-gooder art (socially progressive endeavors masquerading as art).”

– Dominic Molon (Chicago Artist Resource interview)

Blumenthal proves that creativity and reason are compatible. He is a truly scientific food artist and a truly artistic food scientist. His lucid physical explanations for the effects he creates (why serve red cabbage gazpacho with mustard ice cream? Because cabbage contains mustard oil) do not undermine what amounts to a banquet of the imagination. It is through cogent, clearly explained analyses of the physical world that Blumenthal deepens our wonder at it.

The more I think about this, the more he seems a model for modern art. Here is a creative approach that truly enriches our perceptions, that opens eyes (and mouths) to the wonders of the world in just the same ways modern science does. Art can learn so much from this guy. Failing that, give him next year’s Turner prize.

-Jonathan Jones (Guardian article)

“To push the point: life has been occupied by art, because art’s initial forays back into life and daily practice gradually turned into routine incursions, and then into constant occupation. Nowadays, the invasion of life by art is not the exception, but the rule. Artistic autonomy was meant to separate art from the zone of daily routine—from mundane life, intentionality, utility, production, and instrumental reason—in order to distance it from rules of efficiency and social coercion. But this incompletely segregated area then incorporated all that it broke from in the first place, recasting the old order within its own aesthetic paradigms. The incorporation of art within life was once a political project (both for the left and right), but the incorporation of life within art is now an aesthetic project, and it coincides with an overall aestheticization of politics.

On all levels of everyday activity art not only invades life, but occupies it. This doesn’t mean that it’s omnipresent. It just means that it has established a complex topology of both overbearing presence and gaping absence—both of which impact daily life.”

-Hito Steyerl (e-flux journal#30)

Discourses of authenticity are endemic to the art world. In a sphere where anything can be art and good artists create their own criteria of quality, credibility is the crux of being an artist. Even if they deny it, art-world insiders surreptitiously look back and forth between artists and their work to ascertain whether artists are aligned on the positive side of a set of inchoate oppositions: innovative versus derivative, honest versus insincere, authoritative versus unreliable, confident versus unconvincing… The walk and talk of the artist, like the size and colour of a sculpture, have to persuade. Whether they have loud, large-scale personas or subdued, reclusive selves, believable artists are always protagonists, never secondary characters who fall into being “types.”

-Sarah Thornton (The Craft of Being an Artist)

In August of 2001, just months after earning a B.F.A. in painting from RISD, Adam Marnie moved from Providence to Brooklyn. He had grown up in a small town outside of St. Paul, Minnesota, and was 23 years old. For the next several years, like many young artists, he supported himself with a string of odd jobs: carpentry, art handling, artist’s assistant. Often he didn’t have a studio. His practice suffered and his debts mounted. As he moved from one cheap living situation to the next, he felt increasingly isolated. “Many friends didn’t even know I was an artist,” he told me last winter. Toward the end of 2008, forced to vacate yet another studio, Marnie photographed the work he had on hand and decided to apply to M.F.A. programs. Now 30, he’d been toying with the idea for a while, weighing its cost and his reluctance to become a student again against the frustrations of more of the same. The painter Amy Sillman was instrumental in his decision to focus on Bard, in Annandale-on-Hudson, a few hours north of the city. The two had met by chance at a café in Williamsburg. “Adam was with a friend of mine,” remembers Sillman, who has co-chaired Bard’s M.F.A. painting department since 2002. “He had his hood up and seemed kind of remote. I couldn’t tell whether he was a hoodlum or one of those haunted hipsters you see with skateboards on Bedford Avenue. But my instinct was that he was a good guy.” Sillman wrote Marnie a recommendation for Bard, and he was accepted.

-Bard MFA Program (Brooklyn Rail article)

Jorge Lucero is now an Assistant Professor of Art Education at The University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. He completed his PhD from The Pennsylvania State University after having taught in the Chicago Public Schools for seven years. Jorge did his undergraduate studies at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), concentrating in painting and drawing and—during an additional year and half—in art education. He is K-12 art certified in the state of Illinois.

His current research is concerned with the interstices of contemporary art practices with distinctly pedagogical properties (e.g. conceptual art, performance art, participatory and socially engaged art) and how those modes of operation propose alternative approaches to making, learning, relationships, ethics, spirituality, generativity, and civic engagement. Jorge is currently writing about how these educationally-reminiscent forms of contemporary art practice function as permissions for a teaching practice that is also a highly sophisticated art practice. Coming from a studio practice, Jorge’s research has unfolded from a desire to understand the confluence between his research activities (sometimes identified as art) and his teaching persona.

Jorge doesn’t teach and “make art on the side”, he has identified a strategy–through conceptual art practices–where his teaching and creative practices are the same thing.

Jorge Lucero statement