Posts archive: December 2002

Hope you saw the Guggenheim Las Vegas in 2002, because it goes dark “indefinitely” Sunday. And the Museum announced yesterday that it was abandoning hope of getting Frank Gehry’s design for a new Guggenheim built. Too expensive in the “new economic climate.”

- Meredith Tromble [Tuesday, December 31st, 2002]

In the midst of one of the typically uninspired reinstallations of the permanent collection at Berlin’s Neue National Galerie, Otto Piene’s Lichtraum is literally and figuratively a beacon of light. Assembled using four separate shadow- and light-generating devices produced between 1961 and 1994, the room sparkles with shifting arrays of luminous pinhole patterns complemented by forms that look like spiders gyrating gracefully along the walls. Produced with just a few moving lights and simple boxes, the fluid and engaging actions of Lichtraum are enveloping in a way that most computer animation can only dream of being.

Munich’s new Pinakothek der Moderne fully looks the part of a modern art museum: dramatic and vastly impersonal spaces that confer authority on whatever happens to be presented within it. Fortunately, most of the work on view would hold its own no matter where it was presented. Particularly notable are the collection of works by Max Beckmann and a short film loop by Theresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler in which small girl wanders through the storm-drenched aftermath of a birthday party.

- Ed Osborn [Thursday, December 26th, 2002]

A jury in a San Jose Federal court just aquitted Elcomsoft of charges they violated the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. Their decision reportedly hinged on narrowly proscribed jury instructions which stipulated the Russian-based company had to have “willfully” violated the law. This is the first blow to the DMCA and the government (who brought the charges) cannot appeal the aquittal. Extremely good news for those of us who believe the DMCA criminalizes fair use rights.

- Ella Delaney [Wednesday, December 18th, 2002]

The first of the end-of-year lists is here: Google’s end of the year “zeitgeist”, a list of the top search terms of 2002. An interesting cultural barometer, it is nevertheless a bit depressing that Shakira and Eminem rank so very high, while Afghanistan and CNN are on the decline. Escapism, anyone?

- Ella Delaney [Wednesday, December 18th, 2002]

Just imagine if you, the artist, could design your own alternative to current copyright law. Well, now you can. Creative Commons, an organization founded by some of the most prominent figures in law and computing today was conceived to give control back to the creator, rather than the corporation. They’ve just launched machine readable licenses that enable creators to stipulate how their work is shared.

- Ella Delaney [Monday, December 16th, 2002]

Balance out with a dose of fog, smog, pollution, fear and suffocation at the exhibition Smog. Artists Beth Harland, Richard Layzell, Carroline List, Chris Meigh-Andrews, Jacqueline Morreau, Mario Rossi and Mare Tralla exhibit new work inspired by one of the worst environmental disasters in history, a smog that killed 12,000 people. At the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine through February 14, 2003.

- Jeannine McDonald [Friday, December 13th, 2002]

“In progress” since 1979, Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s The Gates is finally getting the green light for Central Park in NYC - after a marathon of lobbying and wading through red tape. Perhaps it’s an indicator of Mayor Bloomberg’s enthusiastic relationship with public art in the city?

- Tucker Nichols [Friday, December 13th, 2002]

brainchild of hot French artists Pierre Huyghe and Philippe Parreno, opens on Saturday, December 14 at SFMOMA. Collaborative, conceptual, and cold (the galleries are purposefully kept cool), digitally animated films by Huyghe, Parreno, and others starring the Manga character Annlee, anchor the exhibition. In 1999 the artists purchased the copyright for Annlee, freeing her from her ‘empty’ existence in order to raise questions about fiction, illusion and disconnections.

A panel discussion on Saturday from 2-4 moderated by Benjamin Weil, curator of the exhibition, features science fiction writer and media critic Bruce Sterling in dialogue with the artists. An 8 hour film by Rirkrit Tiravanija featuring Annlee reading the text of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep will be shown on Fridays and Sundays. This thought provoking exhibition concludes in March with a burial for Annlee in the SFMOMA galleries.

- amy berk [Thursday, December 12th, 2002]

NO WAR features the sometimes great and sometimes slightly predictable work of 70 local artists. Either way, it was refreshing to see such a big turnout of artists and viewers alike voicing their dissent. So what happens when this kind of content makes its way in front of the majority of Americans who favor the impending attack?

- Tucker Nichols [Monday, December 9th, 2002]

In a strange confusion of art with real-life, visitors to the Tacheles art center in Berlin mistakenly thought a dead woman on the ground was a performance art act rather than a suicide.

- David Lawrence [Sunday, December 8th, 2002]

Surely there’s more to Thomas Hirschhorn’s sprawling “Cavemanman” installation at Barbara Gladstone in Chelsea - like referencing Al Qaeda’s mountain caves and Lascaux (and the fake Lascaux, shown here in video) - but by the time you get to the end of the tunnel, the “1 Man = 1 Man” graffitti may seem like a bit of an obtuse conclusion. Trying to picture what the gallery looked like before the cardboard and all that tape, though, is really something else.

- Tucker Nichols [Tuesday, December 3rd, 2002]

With her first NYC solo show “We Are All Made of Stars” opening this week at Daniel Silverstein Gallery, Laurel Nakadate takes us on a wild journey discussing her pre-opening jitters, post-installation depression, and gives us a bit of insight into her strange and provocative videos. Read all about it in sister online art magazine Artkrush.

- amy berk [Tuesday, December 3rd, 2002]

Finally, a conference on the newest developing front in the culture wars. The National Arts Journalism Program at Columbia’s journalism school held The New Gatekeepers a conference that featured artists, lawyers, writers and broadcast executives. Old alliances over issues like censorship fade, while new ones over intellectual property rights begin to form, and consensus seems far from realization.

- Ella Delaney [Monday, December 2nd, 2002]

From the editors