~JOSH . . .
could have been . . . an art director.
JOSH . . .
had a lot of sides to him.
he refracted ideas & creativity . . . like a prism.
the shuffle was intense at Pseudo – keep up, or you were – out.
he wanted to be an artist, he was an artist – but he wanted to be ‘known’ as an artist. get the diff ?
his mind worked as an artist, and if you can’t get that – I can’t help you.
it’s like the diff between Bill Gates and Steve Jobs – who were making the key hardware, and software at the time. and we now know . . . who won that race. vision creates function.
art, design . . . is all.
what Josh was reaching for, or turns out to be: was the future ‘use’ of this nascent technology, aka personal computing . . .
which is emphatically not ‘spreadsheets’, nor ‘powerpoint’ presentations. not even desktop publishing, how quaint.
but, 24/7 social networking, and instant ‘content’ harvesting. think Facebook and google.
in other words – the web. that infinite wireless weaving in the sky – that we all plug into.
he also got, conversely – the other side of the ‘coin’ – of the 24/7 reality game.
it wasn’t just . . . ‘big brother’ reality live streaming – from our ‘input’ side.
it was also big brother surveillance from the flip side of the screen . . . i.e. data & activity tracking. every time you use your smartphone camera, and an instant ping of an incoming email is heard, chances are it’s an ad for a camera product, or what.
state of the art, pinpointed to the individual user – targeted advertising.
the infinite reach of the web – always comes down . . . to the fine line – the individual user.
exquisite, or what ?
and the future ramifications are still . . . wide open.
as Josh would say: the Wired City. the Human (industrial) chicken factory. the Matrix.
yep, Josh thought like an artist.
but he also made his own art, headed up Pseudo’s . . . and, he also power-fueled, and threw his piles of dotcom dough at – some really great art installations, and individual artist projects. I mean could have just been been buying houses, pretty models, and fast cars ?
‘Quiet’ – the 2 week year 2000 millennium million dollar artist party – being the apex. WE LIVE In PUBLIC – being the swan sing.
Pseudo was – the catch-all umbrella.
the downtown art scene sung – when Josh ruled.
forget issues like: future sell, white box exhibits, collector shock, and all-in-all dumbing down. if you could keep Josh’s attention – you were in !! it was all about the juice.
raw and pure. unadulterated and non-filtered. the mind’s momentum, the hand skills. future knowledge.
at it’s most definite – it was NOT: if I show this – who will come in the door, and buy it. hello, New York City art world, mainstream.
so, he all he wanted in return was – a couple of pages in Artforum, damn it. if I had been there earlier I would have told him: hey, just buy a couple of full page ads for your art/party installations … in Artforum, and damn straight – the coverage will follow. ha.
like all natural-born artist, yeah I would know – damn straight !! he knew his mind worked outside the box – and he did his calculations: visually. just as an artist does.
enter LUVVY, his alter ego and the only way for him to express that.
no, he was not just the hipster CEO of a DOTCOM . . . he was multi-media – personified. future tense.
he reached for the unknown, and was a catalyst, intuitively – artist: check, yes.
he connected the dots, and projected a course forward – artist: check, yes.
looking back, it’s only been about 20 years since Josh first hit the pavement running – first with Jupiter, and then Pseudo . . . sincerely I’m thinking, in all truth – he was just too big an artist for the art world in the 90s, or even now – to take in . . . to comprehend.
so leave it to the ‘wired’ guys, guys like Andrew Smith – to pick up the slack !!
yep, what Josh wanted, and still wants, present !! – most of all, is the label that always eludes him: artist.
web entrepreneur, internet pioneer, social networking visionary, hipster dotcom CEO, $86 mill in the bank . . . o.k. that’s alright, but only . . . as byproduct.
above all else . . . he wanted to be known as an ‘artist’. because in truth, this is what he is at base: a shaman, a creative thinker & a visually-focused producer.
we tried to tell him . . . Dude, no !!
we tried to warn him.
no. NO, you do not want to be an artist . . . you are the money guy – !! but he was hungry to feel on every level – and all that dough just put him in a cloud.
well, now that you are a dead-broke artist, how do you like it ?
is all I can say.
what can I say. the art world just ain’t what it’s cranked up to be.
and YOU know that too – or you wouldn’t be reading these here, artlovers webpages – would you.
JOSH set up all the early photo shoots – that got him coverage in all the local culture vultures, like NEW YORK MAG, and THE OBSERVER, etc.
being a photographer – I always thought Josh would have made a brilliant art director, if only – he hadn’t been . . . such a thinker.
funny note: check the Pseudo-branded sweatshirt !!
Josh was the original DOTCOM CEO – in a hoodie.
so, at the time. guys like KOONS or HIRST – could be recognized as artists, no hesitation. even though they were seriously, only heads, CEOs if you will, of fabrication studios. they make product – and most if it has interesting concept. but they don’t track the future.
before that, there was Warhol and his factory – and before that, all those Medieval/Renaissance painters and their ‘schools’ . . . but the ‘invisible’ web was a brand new medium, as directly opposed to the concept of art, whether it be painting on a cave, or a canvas – as you could get.
but, Pseudo and JOSH HARRIS left just as indelible a ‘hand print’.
just the cave wall – is wireless. digital. infinite. and . . . wide open. vast. way beyond, the beyond.
and, certainly not – not hard copy.
pathways in the communal mind/technology – is getting close.
smoke signals in the sky . . . is better.