~the MOMA ATTACK VIDEO
or: JOSH HARRIS vs ANNA WINTOUR. JOSH WINS.
Besides having just won the super prestigious GRAND JURY DOCUMENTARY AWARD at SUNDANCE the previous Dec 2008, and circulating around the world to great acclaim, WE LIVE IN PUBLIC is distinguished – in two other ways.
first off: it was the first, and so far only time – a director has ever won twice at SUNDANCE. ONDI TIMONER had also won the top indie trophy with . . DIG! (2004) – a powerful and raw as rock documentary on the DANDY WARHOLS and the JONESTOWN MASSACRE.
second: and, perhaps even more noteworthy. WE LIVE IN PUBLIC beat out THE SEPTEMBER ISSUE to win the Documentary/US Grand Jury Sundance Award of 2008. WE LIVE IN PUBLIC was the underdog, and its Director had already won once . . . so what were the odds, of the ‘cautionary tale’ of a ‘failed’ web entrepreneur genius, hailed by some as the ANDY WARHOL of the web, and his wild crew of underground NYC artists, and heat-seeking 24/7 tech pioneers – taking home the big trophy ? not much.
THE SEPTEMBER ISSUE, the story of ANNA WINTOUR and her highly paid CONDE NAST crew, including a big focus on GRACE CODDINGTON, as they put together what is always their biggest magazine of the year, – the September issue, i.e. the one that is supposed to forecast the trends, and call the shots for the rest of year – was pegged to win from the get-go. even before the competition began.
the all-powerful VOGUE/CONDE NAST media machine & associated p.r. contacts were revved up big time behind it, and the highly-hyped and well-financed Sundance entry – was supposed to win hands down, NOT.
so, though JOSH HARRIS never received the acclaim and validation – he so desperately wanted from the art world, he and his wild crew – did beat out – ANNA WINTOUR !!
that’s a very interesting fact, although its significance failed to impress or placate Josh, nor make any, repeat: any !! impression on the art world proper, or even on the local scene, in general. further, in a curious trajectory, THE SEPTEMBER ISSUE, although it received nowhere, not even 1%, close to the global exposure and discussion that embraced and waved up in great surges around WE LIVE IN PUBIC, enjoyed a mildly receptive, maybe 6 week commercial run in New York’s local theaters, while WE LIVE IN PUBLIC scored one totally dismal and forgettable week at the IFC.
artworld wise, the situation could be summed up thus:
just this past summer 2012 (!!) WE LIVE IN PUBLIC finally scored a mention in ARTFORUM, the so-called bible of the art industry, as an obscure footnote to an obscure European filmmaker’s TOP TEN list – !!
way to go ARTFORUM.
looking back, maybe Josh should have eaten at BOTTINOS, instead of BALTHAZARS !!
and this wormy ill-researched 2 line blurb in ARTFORUM, was how many years after the fact ?!!
despite its huge, not to mention – upset win at SUNDANCE.
despite its premiere at MOMA.
despite global embrace.
despite the fact that all its participants were armed-to-the-teeth with talent, skills, and vision – and ready . . . to go.
I’m pretty sure further down the road this drop-off will be addressed.
I can only say for now: I can write one of the biggest & most extensive ‘blogs’ on the New York City art scene – and never, repeat NEVER – set foot in a mainstream gallery.
all the real action in NYC – happens outside the established boundaries.
and, you know what, maybe that’s just as well.
there’s nothing like hunger, and lack of recognition – to keep things, real.
I know that’s what Josh tries to tell himself, everyday.
and, let’s leave the sorry truth – at that.
JOSH showed up at MOMA in full hipster PSEUDO DOT-COM CEO mode.
note the signature cigar, and the custom-made down-to-the-cutting edge – silkscreen jacket. but clearly, he was not in a good mood. the MOMA premiere was being billed as a hometown – WE LIVE IN PUBLIC reunion – but on the inside, NOT !!
Josh did not want to see anybody. esp from the past.
was it facing everybody – as a ‘failure to launch the next big project’ – that spooked him ?
now broke, and the big question was how broke, how do you go thru $86 million – and not being able to throw the most fab after party to end all after parties – was that it ?
what got this notoriously moody & arrogant, but still, usually way charismatic guy, esp in PUBLIC – down ?
it probably didn’t help that ONDI was trumpeting the movie as a ‘cautionary tale’, and . . . she was NOT talking about the scary internet & social networking working big brother future before us.
she was talking about making a fortune – and losing it.
in the meantime,
in the biggest IRONY of all – Ondi and her cinematographer husband, the father of her child, had recently busted up, for good, because he had told Josh that she, Ondi had robbed him, Josh – budget-wise on the making of the film, and that she, Ondi . . . had the moral compass of a rat – !!
ok. I heard it directly from the ex in question, in person, by the the way. just saying.
although he was based in LA, he was on the L train in NYC 2 days later, when I bumped into him, quite by accident. sometimes it’s shocking – what a really small world it is.
and she’s . . . talking about Josh running through his fortune ?!!
did you wrap your head around that ?
JOSH HARRIS, CEO of PSEUDO at the WE LIVE IN PUBLIC – MOMA PREMIERE . . . greeting a chick, natch – with the media – in hot pursuit.
well, at least he had LUVVY close by, on the back of his jacket.
custom screened by the late, great . . . MARK ENGER.
WHICH BRINGS US TO THE . . . ATTACK VIDEO
in this beginning frame, from the notorious ‘Crazed fan of Pseudo attacks JOSH HARRIS’ clip,
we meet the film’s director – ONDI TIMONER.
and don’t get me wrong: she is super talented. a visionary herself, and we all owe her our lives. and make that global. across the board.
and damn straight, you had to be ‘hard’ and crafty to finance an indie film. damn straight it was hard to keep Josh on track, even in the best of times. and damn straight thank the lord – she grabbed the $$ while she could. and in light of the amount of money that used to circulate around Josh, it really wasn’t all that much anyways, probably didn’t even exceed $100 to 200 grand, if that.
and it was a pretty good spend, all-in-all.
getting all the way to Sundance and MOMA, no doubt about it.
the live Q+A followed the WE LIVE IN PUBLIC / MOMA NYC premiere inaugural screening.
the ‘attack’ video – was posted to Youtube immediately after it happened, and it spread like wildfire into the New York hipster night.
so, there was a lot of tension surrounding the night.
BUT still everybody was surprised when a seemingly legit audience member, “underdog88, remember me ?” got totally pissed off – at Josh’s arrogant belittling attitude – as in: “what’s your question” . . . ha.
and lunged onto the stage, attacking the moderator . . SCOTT HEFFERNAN first.
JOSH is going down, and Ondi is smart enough . . . to walk away !!
it looked real, and you know what . . . it was real !!
despite the fact that the attacker, ‘underdog88’, who turns out to be long time Pseudo employee #2 … ROBERT GALINSKY, had been pre-pegged !! and only 10 minutes before the actual Q+A, bye the way . . to do “something to throw people’s reality off-base”.
and by the Q+A moderator himself, SCOTT HEFFERNAN !!
apparently Josh had had some kind of a heads-up – as to some “kind of action” about to happen.
but no one else did, including Ondi.
HA: this was about as ‘staged’ as striking . . a match on a matchbox is – to setting a forest fire.
JOSH was being a jerk to all the ‘little people’ who had helped build the WLIP empire, and despite whatever hell he had put himself into, and Josh didn’t need any help with that !! he was the LEONA HEMSLEY of the nite, for real. and, GALINSKY got pissed for real – and took him down for real.
lucky nobody got really hurt.
I should talk . . but we’ll leave that story for another day.
final last words from attack dog, I mean, underdog88/Galinsky:
“I felt that it was an honor and a responsibility to attack Josh because I understood how many people would have wanted to do this . . . for real at certain points, so this to me was an epic responsibility.”
yes, it was a wild and far-out crew – that took down . . . ANNA WINTOUR.
may the . . . WE LIVE IN PUBLIC legend, continue to grow, and LIVE ON, FOR-EVER !!
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
PHOTO OF JOSH in THE MARK ENGER CEO JACKET, FROM THE BACK: NANCY SMITH
PHOTO OF JOSH in JACKET/front: PSEUDO ARCHIVES
SCREENGRAB FRAMES FROM: ‘CRAZED FAN of PSEUDO ATTACKS . . ” – YouTube
in case you missed the link to the attack video, watch: ‘Crazed fan of Pseudo.com attacks founder JOSH HARRIS after screening of WE LIVE In PUBLIC’ – YouTube.
MOMA later highlighted WE LIVE IN PUBLIC – which it bought for their permanent collection – in an EVENTS BROCHURE – JULY 2010 !!
JOSH HARRIS – IN THE COMMUNAL, TRANSPARENT, natch – SHOWER at QUIET, WE LIVE IN PUBLIC.