~JOSH HARRIS/SKY TV/LONDON & AUSTRALIA !!
part of the big UK crush on WE LIVE IN PUBLIC – Josh was interviewed this past weekend by ADAM BOULTON on LONDON’S SKY NETWORK. Josh has been interviewed so many times now, he really has his sound bites down, and it is an exceptionally articulate take. Despite all the troupes through major media face time – and on a wide international scale – since WE LIVE IN PUBLIC won at SUNDANCE way back in JAN 2009 – Josh seems visibly excited in this clip – and seems to consider this particular gig – a major coup. though Mr. Boutlon had to tell him to take his signature cigar out his mouth – basically to stop twirling it in his mouth !! – or they would be bumped, exact words:”no smoking. not allowed to do that -they’ll take away our license.” For WE LIVE IN PUBLIC insiders there were some telling moments. Josh insisting he made his money just !! to finance he and his fellow artists’ antics. and his accompanying insistence that he was not so much a web geek as an bonafide artist himself . . which actually rings true when all the dust settles. but one self-description that everybody knows is not true blue, that: WE LIVE IN PUBLIC – GF – now ex-girlfriend TANYA – was a “fake” girlfriend – and he was a “fake” boyfriend. well, no doubt he had trouble about being a boyfriend, even a friend – as all who came into his wild, but totally genius creative orbit – would testify too – but it was not a “fake” relationship to those who witnessed it up front. esp. love the claim that he set it up – 5 years prior to “casting” her in the role. !! Josh didn’t know what he was doing day-to-day – except he knew he was catching the vibe on a big big scale and in a big big way . . and really the single most crucial & valuable part of his for-real genius, many times over – was his ability to catch a person, a spark, a gesture, in a word – TALENT !! – the moment it skimmed by his orb and, put it on “payroll”.
but, back to the “fake” GF – maybe he considered Tonya fake – because the whole relationship feel apart – under the 24/7 surveillance, no joke: when the initial honeymoon chemistry had waned and she could no longer help him through his relationship dead-ends & emotional cluelessness – join the rest of the world, Josh !! – and finally the nail hit the coffin – when he started to lose his mojo along with all his dough.
the dough ? big money ? that- is – the one fact that is real – heads up Vladimir – and pals – JOSH HARRIS was self-made. he came to New York City with a second-hand car that he sold for $700, and started up JUPITER COMMUNICATIONS – the very first internet/web trend tracking site – which he flipped, IPO’d – within a quick a year or so for $80 million big ones !!
and, yes I can tell you first-hand, that he did lavish millions of bucks – on his parties – and the hard-core talent that produced and fueled them. to Josh an artist was the most amazing thing you could unearth and unleash – on the planet – and, therefore the best and most entertaining thing you could with your money was to finance the art. in a big big way. and have great, great even interactive – parties afterwards – or, really all the time !! the party was always on – for the everchanging entourage of favorites and the insider talent & production crews. yes, that’s crews in plural. how to express this – in a few words to get across – in these current 2009 mightily down-scaled days – when free-flowing champagne for 800 – is considered a coup ? put it this way – at the height of his operations in 1999 – he had a multi-story ‘office’ headquarters building, at the corner of Houston and Broadway, that was home to Pseudo and it’s many teams of cutting-edge internet geeks and programmers, as in net programmers and party broadcast live-action & digital animation programmers !! he had his personal 2,000 sq. ft+ live-in loft at the corner of Broadway and Spring – which you see as the multi-camera WE LIVE IN PUBLIC personal web 24/7 interactive web cast – that focused on him and his “fake” girlfriend. and then he had 2 huge (vintage) warehouse buildings down on Lower Broadway, around Leonard and Duane Sts – that were his personal art studio and art HQ – which became the breeding grounds for QUIET – that 1,000+ artist live-in (no exaggeration) work and play – residence for artistic celebration of the 2000 Millennium – played out – as if the end of the world had surely come. (and, yes it’s true it did even attract FEMA scrutiny – they thought it was a Millennium Suicide cult !! how do I know – I was singled-out, for some reason – and questioned first-hand by a suit !! LOL. I told him to relax and smoke some funny cigs – it was all just another day in the life of a dot.com financed artist in NYC ca 1999 !!) what was best about Josh – he only wanted the most hardcore ungallerified artists around – you know someone who could build guns and bombs – like Alfredo Martinez; someone who could throw up Japanese pod hotels, for a 100+ resident artists within 2 weeks – that would be JEFF GOMPERTZ, someone who could take the cutting-edge footage and work a winner – that would be ONDI TOMONER, and someone who could read the future – and that would be me (aka NANCY SMITH !!). I could also tell the past (quilts). and I was invaluable to Josh – for seconding his call – on the edge. put it this way – even in this very one factor – I earned my weight in gold. I was the one who told Josh, way back in 2000 – when I was finally let back into the inner ‘cabal’ – when the decade long tech party had begun to crash – as in global dot.com market meltdown – when there was only so much funds left – that he designate and give as a priority enough dough (I think it was $100,000) to Ondi Timoner – to make sure she had the motivation and means – to safely maintain and archive for future unspecified use all the digital 24/7 surveillance of QUIET – our big and raw downtown NYC – open to the public – 24/7 – 2 week long live-in hardcore millennium blow-up party – that dominates her – eventual SUNDANCE winner – her 2009 documentary – WE LIVE IN PUBLIC . . I told Josh, and I was a single voice among many dissenters – the scrappy and wild footage was good enough to find its way to Sundance & maybe even to win !! big time. yeah I called it, ask Josh – way back in 2000. to his credit Josh – did act on my advice. and voila – the rest is history !! though he was very very skeptical at the time. . People gave him a hard time about his ‘art’ ambitions, and in that woefully short-sighted early 2000 way – could only perceive or understand him, really pigeonhole him, as a tech geek.
that is why in all the interviews that followed the Sundance success – and, even in this one – he seeks above all else to highlight and self-define his role as first – an artist, and second, the puppet master. as opposed to an internet visionary or guru. I don’t know why it is so hard for people to perceive a digital, exhibit, and performance visual artist – who simply had enough dough to create a whole free-wheeling hard-partying multi-crewed multi-studioed creative universe without walls as less of an artist – than any ‘business-man’ artist who creates industrial strength multi-employee art around their more conventional, as in painting, sculpture, shark tank – visions – such as OLAFUR ELLIASON, DAMIEN HIRST or even JEFF KOONS, except that Josh had so many things happening, and so many crews going full speed at the same time – that were so radical and spoke to the future so directly – 100% juice – that it took a documentary overview – of a decades worth of footage – to maybe help put this in perspective. put it this way. name one other person who would fight for the right to be hailed as an ‘artist’ – !! – rather than an internet guru – !! – on prime time t.v ? there ya go – Josh Harris in a nutshell.
speaking of same – that’s what’s so friggin’ cool about the god damn motherland of all modern culture – the hard-core BRITS !! and, why all us WE LIVE IN PUBLIC vets are jumpin up and down !! a whole island of acute – people – who in their ancient genetic make-up – get it !! period. maybe they could take the leap from their experience with Damien Hirst’s shark and cow-infested tanks and other media besotted ventures. no matter. how cool that – that ancient northern rock – is rocking out to the mostly unheralded at home – underground New York City downtown art scene circa 1999 – 2000. or to put it another way – just before the towers fell. (World Trade Center) WE LIVE IN PUBLIC – is not only Josh’s great ‘I told you so moment’ – it is our – the underground downtown – art scene – as bad a bunch of hardcore hardscrabble up-from-the-streets – way too smart and way to bad – for the gallery system – and it just took a decade. and its just beginning to roll out.
let me clarify – its not that WE LIVE IN PUBLIC didn’t have a huge success in the US of A – !! – come on guys – it won Sundance. it has raved its way, critically, and gathering huge fan bases all along the way, too – across the USA and all over the world – and here we are – a good 11 months later – after its big Sundance win – witness the BRIT INVASION – !! – what I am referring to – is the is dumbed-down art world proper and in NYC !!
put it this way – THE SEPTEMBER ISSUE – which chronicles mainstream VOGUE and ANNA WINTOUR – and – WE LIVE IN PUBLIC – which chronicled one man, Josh, his web visionary stance and the merry band of downtown rebel artists who carried them out – are both documentaries that were generated out of New York City – but WE LIVE IN PUBLIC beat out THE SEPTEMBER ISSUE at SUNDANCE – despite the later having had bigger, as in highly financed press machine – and WE LIVE IN PUBLIC continues to tour – in an ever escalating arc – in commercial runs, such as those now on in Seattle, USA and the whole of the London and the UK. However back here at home, touchdown NYC – despite rave reviews – when WE LIVE IN PUBLIC debuted at the MOMA ND/NF FESTIVAL back in April w 2009 and with a big spread in the NY TIMES when it surfaced for a commercial run this August/September 2009 Labor dDay weekend, at the IFC Center – THE SEPTEMBER ISSUE – has enjoyed a much larger commercial run. duh ? what does that say about NYC – I shudder to guess.
maybe its the same thing – called for lack of a better phrase – a peculiarly local – and disturbingly low – ceiling in smarts – that essentially – keeps the underground alive and well, and well: broke & underground, but always, rockin & kickin’ – in NYC ? its a conundrum – someone else can figure out. I’m too heat-fixated on that top 1% to give a fuck. let alone waste any more time on trying to decipher why the city that is the center of the universe – lets such short-minded & uninspired quote unquote ‘tastemakers’ – run its radar. but there ya go. NYC in a nutshell.
p.s. when they talk about WE LIVE IN PUBLIC – being a ‘cautionary’ tale – that has nothing to do with the Big Brother aspects of the web, nor the wild chaotic party-on till the NYPD shuts you down – antics of its rebel artists. it simply refers to Ondi’s awe that Josh managed to lose all his money, all 80 million $$ – in such a short span.
p.p.s. that great custom silk screened jacket that Josh is so proudly wearing – was made by MARK ENGER of EXPLODING SKY WORLDWIDE, a NYC/NJ-based silk screen shop. Mark Enger also made the in-house crew uniforms that you see the QUIET artist crew members scurrying around in, in Ondi’s film. orange work pants and gray work shirts.
MARK ENGER is also the hugely dysfunctional, as in totally drunk and reeling – cowboy red neck artist crew member – who got hassled, just for fun, by Josh and the QUIET security – when he tried to return to the site after a serious binge !!
His shop’s logo – EXPLODING SKY – just got put on the ART LOVERS ‘AD’ PLATFORM, check it out !!
see: ART LOVERS PHOTOS !!
and yeah, he is the real deal.
so, long story, short: we’ll give the man, my former boss – and my best paying, most fun – art gig – ever !!
the one & only JOSH HARRIS the final word:
watch: JOSH HARRIS – on – SKY NETWORK – BUSINESS NEWS (!!) – in AUSTRALIA !!
love that explosive musical lead-in – they do their business – right – in AUSTRALIA !!
watch: JOSH HARRIS INTERVIEWED on SKY TV – AUSTRALIA !!
this was the chick that interviewed him in Australia, for SKY TV AUSTRALIA – BUSINESS NEWS !!
Josh must have liked that – you can see him just pouring on the famous – HARRIS ‘animal’ charm !!
bet he was wishing – he could claim her – as a ‘fake’ GF !!
note: both YouTubeclips – had slightly over 300+ views – when first posted to artlovers !!