it seems to be the last week to catch ALISON PEBWORTH’S – ‘BEAUTIFUL POSSIBILITY’ – TRAVELLING ACROSS AMERICA – TOUR, for now . . . anyways !!
ALISON PEBWORTH – ‘BEAUTIFUL POSSIBILITY’
OCT 15 – OCT 29, 2012
186 CARPENTER, PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND
186 CARPENTER – is a storefront and office space . . . that presents arts programming and current events in Providence. hit the link – to see more pix of the space . . . small town urban/rural America, oh yeah !!
Providence is a beautiful word, it means:
1. care or preparation in advance; aka foresight.
2. prudent management, as in economy.
3. Divine care and guardianship.
ALISON PEBWORTH – ‘Beautiful Possibility’ – Title Banner.
featuring: Laudah Equiano, Tahcoloquoit (Sauk & Fox Chief), and Olive Oatman.
acrylic on canvas, 42 x 30 in.
‘Beautiful Possibility’ is a touring exhibition & research project that takes as its inspiration the 19th C. American Travelling Show.
for more banner photos, see: ALISON PEBWORTH ‘Beautiful Possibility’ – TOUR BANNERS – there are 10 altogether and each one is awesome – definite hit that link, and check them out.
ok, here’s one more:
ALISON PEBWORTH – ‘Dangling Man’ – TOUR BANNER
Dick Cheney, Black Hawk, Seven Sisters on Mato Tipilia (Devil’s Tower).
acrylic on canvas, 42 x 30 in.
watch: San Francisco-based ALISON PEBWORTH, on the right – being interviewed at the SIGNAL+NOISE MEDIA ART FESTIVAL, 3 years ago.
(interviewer and interviewee – look to be of the same gene pool, no ? quelle fun !!)
check out: her website, ALISON PEBWORTH
and for sure, check out: her Roadside – Show & Tell
I really like her concept, and her GRAPHICS . . the bits of animation (!!) and the over-all web site design/organization !! . . . . as well as the paintings.
you go, girl !! tour that big bad America !! and . . . shine the light !!
FILE UNDER: if you want to banish redneck mentality, for-evah !! go no fur-tha !!
FILE UNDER: if you want to see why the current art scene is pretty much nowheresville, and that means lame, lame and more lame !! look no further than the fashion world, past, present . . . and probably, future !!
DIANA VREELAND: THE EYE HAS TO TRAVEL – A FILM BY LISA IMMORDINO VREELAND
REVIEWED BY NANCY SMITH. OCT 19, 2012
DIANA VREELAND: THE EYE HAS TO TRAVEL – CURRENTLY PLAYING at THE ANGELIKA FILM CENTER in NYC. DON’T MISS IT.
love this frame from the trailer – did you catch that … vintage crochet afghan (!!) – on the left.
WATCH: THE OFFICIAL TRAILER !!
p.s. hit the top image, to engage. don’t let that (lame) page fool ya.
the trailer starts off, with Ms. Vreeland narrating:
“the fashion world changes all the time. you can even see the approaching revolution in clothes. You can see and feel everything in clothes.” (!!)
the film is even more fascinating than the trailer makes for . . if you can imagine that.
it’s a wonderful story, a wonderful history – a vivid lively burst of color, fashion, and art. and key: ORIGINAL thought, also known as VISION – beyond the beyond.
but what really holds it all together is the brilliant job that the film’s director LISA IMMORDINO VREELAND, I guess a relative, has brought to the project, this film is one big treat. it moves swiftly as it lays the story down. the narrative just sweeps you up in the moment and never, ever … drops you into a dense too-much-info moment. somehow all the facts are laid bare with exquisite visuals . . . with such entertaining eloquence, the film is more a froth of a force, than a force of a force – if you get what I mean. nothing slows this film down, and it when it’s over, well . . . you just want to sit there, and watch it – all over again.
and, well regarding ‘all’ the facts, that’s interesting too.
though some mention is made of her personal life, she speaks of her very glamorous looking husband and how wonderful he made her feel, “how beautiful”, the film makes no other details of him or their relationship available. and though we do get to meet her grown-up sons, it’s a brief hello. but in those brief cameos, if you read between the lines, the filmmaker has opened up a little peek into maybe the only ‘flaw’ line of Ms. Vreeland’s super dedicated professional, if not downright obsessional life slash career. her grown sons have a strange half-life about them, like they never felt the absolute bonding of mother and child, it’s something that still seems to (sadly) resonate with them, even now.
but what a life, what a career – what superlative brilliance and authority did this “Empress of Fashion” exude, just as naturally as she did breathe. as she says, by way of explanation, she was born in Paris (!!) during the ‘belle epoque’, if you know your art history – you can put your head around that !! . . . and, she came of age during the Roaring Twenties – and, yes !! still in Paris. she didn’t fit into school as a child, and only settled down when she was sent to a dancing school, and yes, apparently she was quite the dancer.
she was of the original generation that was thrilled by the ultra fab: DIAGHLEV, NUREYEV and the Russian ballet, in Paris . . . and that was one visual, richly, profoundly dramatic scene – of course. no kidding. she was ‘found’ when she was full-blown dancing at a nightclub, in Paris of course, in her late teens, I think, something like that. she was noticed both for her dancing, and her style. she was chic, it seems from the get-go. she was wearing CHANEL !! and of course, once she opened her mouth, and the ideas and her full-on creative mind spun out in full gear, the next thing you knew she had her own fashion column. I’ll let the movie fill you in on that, and take over . . . it’s one amazing flight of inspiration, that’s for sure.
TWO LEGENDS: DIANA VREELAND with YVES SAINT LAURENT.
PHOTO BY ROXANNE LOWIT, ‘DIANA VREELAND’ by ELEANOR W DWIGHT, pg 262 – PHOTO C/O DIANAVREELAND.COM
the quote that appears with this photo, pretty much says it all:
“Mrs. Vreeland was one of the most exceptional people I have met in all my life. Her force of character, her glamor, her intelligence, her innate sense of elegance and her exuberance energized all those who meet her.” ~ YVES SAINT LAURENT, Designer, excerpted from ‘Diana Vreeland’ by ELEANOR DWIGHT.
there IS an amazing website associated with this film . . . and it is absolutely, and delightfully chock-full of ARCHIVAL PHOTOS & QUOTES !!
it’s a rainy day – go for it !!
WITH INITIAL REPORTING BY: KATE CERIGO
. . . showing the art world – where it’s . . . . really at.
FILE UNDER: there’s only SO much Redneck, as in Honey Boo Boo, not MARK ENGER !! you can take, and how many times can you really look at Kim Kardashian’s fat ass, and find it fascinating, anyways.
let alone be bored to tears . . . by Bernadette ?
omg – first frame . . . and it takes off !!
light-weight, low-fi (!!) romantic chic poetic zine-like painted paper cut-outs, what have I been telling yo’all. duh !!
KRISTEN STEWART, bad girl !! how fun !!
Campaign shooting by STEVEN MEISEL, duh !!
oh to die for. so smart. I can hardly breathe.
NICOLAS GHESQUIERE – BALANCIAGA CREATIVE DIRECTOR.
yep x 1,000,000 – watch: FLORABOTANICA – KIRSTEN STEWART DEBUTS PERFUM for BALENCIAGA !!
when in Chelsea, that’s where you should head. even just to browse and, well, dream … on.
they have a great boutique down there.
on 22nd St. btwn 10 and 11. in the middle of nowheresville !!
(just joking, maybe !!)
WITH INITIAL REPORTING BY: KATE CERIGO.
Bernadette, sweet Bernadette, NOT !!
FILE UNDER: so maybe this is why – everybody’s new fav flavor . . . is REDNECK !!
we’re so sick of . . . artistic pretension.
SO, is it fair game, in the midst of talking about whale-on-whale intra-species violence, captivity, masked cyber-vigilantes, child suicide, and deadly child predator/bullies – to return to the art world, that happy playground (!!) and report on the demise of a used-to-be group, now exposed as: not … so much.
I always thought this group, known collectively as BERNADETTE CORPORATION, and running their own Lower East Side gallery outlet, REENA SPAULINGS FINE ART (a made-up name, bye the way, and maybe name-making was their best . . . calling ?) was way ‘too cool for school’.
as in: too self-involved with very little visual pay-off, and certainly not anywhere enough to offset their sharp-elbowed social elitism. so even though I lived close-by, I skipped going there altogether, even though for some reason, that greatly mystified me to no end, I guess they had a lot of literary-type, writer friends, tons of ‘academic’ paper and text extolled them.
their best caper was probably the stealth-like start-up of their very first storefront space on Grand St, deep into the old Yid neighborhood .. in fact they took ‘out’ an ultra-conservative womans’ clothing store and did some fairly outrageous stuff, in the big display window, with nary a sign stating that this was now a gallery. I well remember all the ole timers complaining to me . . . “what, this is a gallery. this is Fine art ? better it should have been a bakery.”
yep: Bernadette Corporation rolled on – like one big non-stop … the-emperor-who-wore-no-clothes storyline, attracting dim witted collectors like flies. well, if you can’t call the art, it’s always easier to go for what purports to be art – if it has a flashy, and key: SNOBBY …. text or tag line. not to mention the prerequisite, awesome-in-volume, and way-fawning Artforum chorus.
what is this a subversive vigilante website, or what. damn straight.
and more power to the freedom of the individual on the web, as opposed to the well-financed and mighty tarnished art publication industry. amen.
you couldn’t find a bigger bunch of sheep, anywhere.
not to mention, paid p.r. . . . just saying.
bottomline: if you bought into Bernadette Corporation, you lost.
BUT: you don’t have to take my word for it . . .
read: Bernadette Corporation ‘2000 Wasted Years’ . . . by KEN JOHNSON, NEW YORK TIMES. OCT 5, 2012
ha. ‘2000 Wasted Years’ – is right. well at least they got that part right. and no, they were not being wittily ‘self-deprecatory’ !! these guys just don’t have the required humor genes, their bio bank – it’s all self-smug inward – all the way.
see: Artists Space – ‘Bernadette Corporation – 2000 Wasted Years’ and you can pretty much come to – your OWN conclusion !!
installation view ‘Bernadette Corporation: 2000 Wasted Years’ at Artists Space, image c/o Artists Space.
the show is up thru DEC 16, 2012.
Artists Space – 38 Greene St. – in SOHO.
hmmm . . . and, you are . . . . ?
say what ? Pseudo . . .
watch: the WE LIVE IN PUBLIC – OFFICIAL TRAILER
if you checked out that . . . WE LIVE IN PUBLIC trailer . . . you might recall Josh’s opening lines . . . yes, that is his voice narrating. and yes, that is him – in this frame from the opening credit – ‘social networking’ grid. he begins WE LIVE IN PUBLIC trailer thus:
“The Internet is like this new human experience. at first everybody’s going to like it but there will be a fundamental change in the human condition. one day we are all going to wake up and realize we’re all servants . . . it’s captured us.”
there is a firestorm with regards to that prescient statement going on . .. on the web right now. apparently the hacker group ‘anonymous’ has left behind targeting corporate targets, for now, anyways – and used their prodigious skills to hit back . . at a child predator, on the web. who targeted and bullied his young victim mercilessly on the web and Facebook. on that great social networking ‘frontier’, and as such – it’s a pretty raw, if not lawless domain.
and do we want rules on the grid, anyways. well if not rules, yes to RESPECT.
RESPECT to content and copyright, respect to other people, irregardless of age. but esp the very vulnerable and young.
it was fun to have something so wide open, free and unknown. but humans be beasts, even more so, cyber beasts – so what you gonna do. I want to stand up for freedom, despite the fallout, for totally wide open spaces. but being a cyber pioneer, might already be over, as the situation goes clearly so, south.
see: ‘Anonymous outs man, 32, who drove girl, 15, to suicide by spreading topless photos of her . . ‘ – Daily Mail UK
and make sure you hit Amanda’s word placard video at the end of that post – I can’t get an independent link, right now.
ok, no, I don’t want to exploit/hijack this, and you should hit that link and read the story for yourself !!
in a new world without rules, esp as regards our children, vigilantism – is at the top of the agenda ?
I’m telling you, orcas, you know those black & white killer whales and humans are basically: no diff.
mucho aggression and destructive behavior, with both killer species – needing the help of their elders (anonymous ?) . . . to ensure survival of the young.
this month started off with a violent thread, and guess what, even HONEY BOO BOO needs a full time bodyguard now, too.
one: when there are no rules – there will be violence. I reacted to bullying done against me at QUIET by smacking and almost killing somebody. not my fault she was sitting on a flimsy chair, when she taunted me, yes she was a mean girl personified and the floor underneath her was concrete. and no, I would never find myself in that situation again.
or would I ?
some humans fight. some crumble.
I do remember Josh and crew did NOT back me up . . when I demanded some rules. and in fact much to my chagrin, disgust, and disappointment – they threw me out for being violent ???
but. maybe I’m still alive, as in being vital – to tell the tale – because I did get violent ?
as opposed to crumble. but I’m also not 15.
being in the NYC art world, if nothing else – did toughen up me.
‘QUIET, GUNS & QUILTS’ – is me !!
note: scroll down & see that very first artlovers OCT 2012 post, ‘THE PSEUDO BOWLING PARTY .. BLACK & WHITE’ . . which is starting to make more sense, bye the way. so much for talking in cyber tongues, just saying . . .
two: I like that name ‘anonymous’. though I don’t like being hacked, and last year I was hacked – almost to death. geez I’m an art site, you guys !! whose side are you on, anyways. it speaks up to to the real scary issues behind the ‘web’ – the potential for hoax, to be hidden. to be a cyber avatar.
three: ‘anonymous was a woman’ – is a ‘key’ phrase in the quilt world – where most of the quilts were never signed by their makers, and their personal history has thus been lost – but their messages: spirituality, creativity and striving for the good – remain. to live on for-evah !!
the web mirrors the quilt world – again. just saying . . . though unlike the web, there is NO evil in the quilt worlds. there are no voodoo quilts.
four: regarding the anonymous video. the music is scary. Batman-like, new world gone bad – like. fearsome.
it adds to the chilling factor of who really is behind this. what happens to the person they target, and what happens if this tangent for reprisal – gets out of hand, but also what IF this is the ONLY way to keep the web healthy ? and free.
also again: who controls the media – controls the world. communication is KEY in our world.
five: note the cinematic simulated ‘broadcast’ opening graphics. and the faceless logo. the narrator’s Guy Fawke’s mask. visual graphics are an important element . . . in a communication world that is posted on a visual, as well as verbal . . . platform.
the anonymous logo. well they be …. masters of the web, of course you can’t get a CLEAN screenshot !!
anonymous opening credits . . like Batman come to life, when the movie franchise was good, dude – not now.
new world TV – up from the street. also scary as all hell.
but, maybe that’s a good thing – in the extreme new cyber world ?
watch: anonymous – outs Amanda Todd’s . . . bully / web tech child predator.
OH, TO LIVE IN THE WORLD of QUILTS, and ART – and NEVER LOOK UP, . . . NOT !!
maybe that’s what LUVVY – was all about ? the underbelly.
well, I’ve been debating if I need to cop to this, and I guess the answer is: yes.
yep, that screamin’ manic in the WE LIVE IN PUBLIC trailer . . . is me.
love the green and yellow puffy jacket, or what !!
well, if you’ve been following these pages for any amount of time, it will come as NO surprise that my middle name is: trouble.
QUILT LADY, ha. yes, that’s what they used to call me at PSEUDO. but that’s Quilt Lady, … not Church Lady !!
and I believe they pronounced it: CRACK.
and no joke.
turns out a lot of those early American women quilt makers – were quite the artist, weren’t they.
the ‘traditional’ quilt grid used as a symbolic ‘organizing’ format for social networking, in the WE LIVE IN PUBLIC opening credits, the design of which I had nothing to do with – that was all Ondi’s handiwork – but, just to point up the obvious.
quilt grid = matrix, in a one-dimensional schematic overlay.
so, it’s o.k. to use the ‘weaving’ metaphor for all the wireless web/internet interplay, up to a point . . .
but the quilt ‘organizational’ format – is actually a better symbol. and a better informational or graphic design layout for expressing the ground rules of new age computing, esp as regards social networking, blogs, twitter, google-enabled research. etc. etc.
in fact, it seems pretty obvious to state that if the hardware, the personal computer machines themselves – came out of that deeply rooted American DIY ethos, as seen in vintage GARAGE MECHANICS and other like-minded magazines . . . then the flip side, the wide world of female DIY handicrafts: sewing, esp as in embroidery, lace making (so hip today or what ?), pattern-central crochet, far flung quilt making – all supported, theoretically the intangible software codes, and the resultant web itself – as the interwoven and highly personal, translate HOMEMADE !! – social, as opposed to purely business, computer world we now live in today, ca. 2012.
if cross stitch embroidery is not exactly what code is, think URL . . . that is, if you miss a single stitch you’re done for – I don’t know what is.
in fact the ‘quilt’ metaphor beats out ‘weaving’ on a lot of levels, so that weaving becomes a sub-theme for wireless, basically. . not the least element being the dominant role of the individual, esp as contributor.
see that WLIP opening credit poster above again.
the quilt format – also relates to what became the dominant impulse of the computer generation as it evolved: photos and personal information, and that go on to become history, i.e. the supreme DIY archive – and which dominant web activity and which are shot out, created 24/7 mega huge, and non-stop, and global !! – on the personal web or matrix, as it has evolved. 2012.
so much for ‘desktop’ publishing and spreadsheets. ha.
JOSH got it very early on that quilts were not just about ‘bed covers’, but were more about . . communication, messages, history, cultural aggregation and . . . well, gee duh: sampling !!
and life experience ‘souvenirs’ passed down to ensure the growth . . of the next bio human generation.
if only killer whales, those troubled orcas who are the only other species on the entire planet, besides man – who need their parenting figures around their whole lives – could quilt !!
maybe they wouldn’t be locked up in bathtub-sized pens at SEAWORLD.
DIY handicrafts are obviously – the key to (dominant) evolution.
which is not even to BEGIN to go . .. . into computer ‘code’ per se, and making digital building blocks of binary patterns, and over-all MATH – working its way up into overall kinetic diagrams, and traveling up the multi-level perceptual ladders.
which also spells: QUILTS.
~light and shadow log cabin patterns, anybody !!
~’Baltimore wedding albums’ .. which carried individual ‘blocks’ from different friends – assembled into one cover – for the new bride to take off into her future home, esp if she was following her husband, and moving off into parts unknown.
~piecework quilts made from clothing remnants that detailed the growing-up and history of a family, to be handed down through the generations. a role photography would supplant.
~also piecework involved some serious MATH. as well as spiritual or historic messages.
~what about: Amish quilting . . . the pinnacle of a wordless spiritual expression – in pure abstract form. that told a story, cast a spell as powerful as the bible with no figurative content whatsoever. . and was the great runner-up of modern art, in this country. this kind of quilting having laid the groundwork for making sophisticated yet minimal ‘block building’ … a truly ‘visual’ play – a daily event, even for the most unsophisticated bed-goer.
~ quilting bees. social networking at it’s most primal communal base, or what . . .
yep, Josh got into quilts. the thing that impressed him the most though, was that, especially the early colonial quilts, were: spiritual artifacts. designed to protect and empower.
then, there’s the theory of infinity. if you want to try to get your head around, the concept of ‘infinity’, there is nothing more infinite . . . than the quilt culture. no two are ever alike. no two are repeated. they are still being made. the quilt is above all else: the power of the individual, the hands-on energy of the artist.
creativity = infinity.
I was thinking myself, that the ‘spiritual artifact’ element was what most distinguished the early quilts, and even the later ones, from the internet per se, which is commonly understood to be – more mechanical in nature, and thus has ‘no’ soul.
but seriously, that is a flawed reasoning. just because there are no obvious religious overtones, there is still an aggregate knowledge (!!) and a history that that gets archived – that gets made, everyday on the web.
the tracking of these 21st century digital fingerprints – is the aggregate trail we all leave behind of our times. our culture, our civilization, our evolution. our struggles.
it’s not just whose in a relationship, and cute baby photos, and what kind of music, or fashion – rocks out world.
though of course, in a profound way, it is.
it’s also, take a mental leap: about the other half of the world that doesn’t get the ‘freedom’ of the western web and the ensuing community dialog. and point blank – see it as a threat.
that’s why I was particularly awed by finding out the Middle East was trying ‘to get’ . . . what’s going on, by reading Andrew Smith’s ‘Totally Wired’. that book review that came out of Abu Dhabi really floored me. not the least, that halfway around the world – they were reading about Josh, and Pseudo, and the underground artists, like me – to figure it all out.
yes, the underground artists employed at Pseudo – for whatever reasons, we were just as an integral part or cog, of the early internet development – as the code writers. and they be reading about us – in Abu Dhabi !!
and yet we remain, almost unknown here at home . . . in New York friggin city. ha.
it’s a tough cold gritty city. maybe that’s why we love it.
but at the same time, it’s not so funny, either.
though as per this page – the internet is helping level the playing field. and re-write history.
ha. I’m thinking the poet, or the person with the ‘voice’ trumps the trust fund baby storefront gallery lease, or what !!
NANCY SMITH, PAPER LANTERN. collage, glitter, red embroidery thread on a single/standard 8 x 10 in. sheet of typing paper.
exhibited at QUIET, a ‘rebel’ ‘downtown’ underground art installation produced by Pseudo, that ran Dec thru Jan 15, 2000.
PHOTO/COPYRIGHT: NANCY SMITH. QUIET, NYC. DEC 31, 1999.
Josh’s Pseudo empire was so big at this point, DEC of 1999, that you could be working on a project for him, at say his Spring St. loft – and unknowingly happen upon a crew way further downtown on Broadway near Chambers – that needed installation wall painters for $10/hr, and sign up – only to have Josh walk in at some point, and ask you what the F you were doing there there ?
yes, it was DAVID LESLIE who first signed me up to paint walls for the QUIET underground disco/live sex/gun target rooms – that initially put me on the QUIET orbit. I was already buying Josh quilts.
and then to make a long story short: I was supposed to do a Quilting Bee – but I got tagged by Josh as a top level admin – so instead I ran around like a crazed motherf….. 24/7 to help make that 1 million dollar baby take off.
and take off – it did.
so scratch the quilting bee. that’s the way it was at Pseudo. move with the chaos, or move out !! – is the best way I can put it. go with the flow, and stay light on your feet.
to console my eclipsed artist status, in my spare time I made paper lanterns out of whatever I could get my hands on, that was lying around. though now that i look back – I think it’s pretty funny, and most definite : ironic, that it was TYPING PAPER – !! – in the age of computers just starting !!
I would hang them up somewhere, and the next day I would not only find them still there, but that they had been professional – stage lit. nobody got ‘art’ – better than Josh. amen. and I mean that.
Josh was pure life – life itself, to a lot of people, but esp me.
and when people STILL ask . . . why is it always about Josh – that’s the best answer I can give.
NANCY SMITH, ARCHIVAL QUILT DIAGRAM. incl photos of ‘distressed’ quilts I had repaired by hand, and brief text.
PHOTO/COPYRIGHT: NANCY SMITH, QUIET, NYC. DEC 31, 1999.
I also managed to fly light, be fast in the head,, and adapt – by putting up a smaller ‘stealth’ quilt project – in lieu of the not-to-be quilting bee. it was this simple photographic diagram of some important quilt patterns, essentially building blocks, with a bit of history and brief text.
1. that’s what sealed the deal for me regarding photos and text – on the run, as in on the internet.
2. it’s called PHOTOGRAPH, PRESENT/POST INFORMATION & ARCHIVE. pass down the aggregate information for the next generation, to build on.
3. archiving as such, it turns out, is such an important element in new age computing, though most of it is seen, as is this page is as real time ‘rambling’ – truth is – it googles for-evah !!
4. production needs, once you have scored the computer duh !! – zip. nada. nothing. no budget. disposable all the way, from the initial DIY energy to create and post – to the hard drive housing the ‘digital’ photos.
artist-wise, as opposed to computer-wise . . .
I guess though it ran well in Pseudo culture – this on-the-run fleetingly fast yet ironically ARCHIVAL mentality . . . also locked me into an ongoing contrarian conflict with the prevailing ELI BROAD art world mindset of the past decades.
which goes all the way back to the 80s for god’s sake, and, enough already !! it’s 2012 !!
and lo and behold, FALL 2012 – those masters of the low-fi: zines – rule !! DIAMOND LEAVES in CHINA !!
if you don’t follow the site – scroll down. I can’t do ALL – your homework for you.
CONTRARY . . . vis-a-vis both the HUGE fabrication mentality of an ELI BROAD favored JEFF KOONS, and the ‘fabricated’ – as in fictional narrative – of for example: the photographs of another ELI BROAD favored Cindy Sherman.
there was NO room for ‘light on the feet’, thinking as you breathe. no room for low-fi, and possibly disposable art forms. which if you think about it – are in effect the very nature – of the digital process.
and also speak – to the decline of hard copy, bye the way.
re: low-fi paper lanterns.
of course I have the hands-on actual repaired quilts – but who wants those babies. archival creativity to the max.
ha, to if – I ever get to see them on a wall, in my lifetime – or what ?
but hey, I’ve got the nickname, Quilt Lady !! what else could anybody want ?
ALTHOUGH, let me clarify.
I would have NO objection to ‘re-fabricating’ those paper lanterns – as expensive fiberglass objects !!
it’s just a matter of having the dough, the budget, and the backing. which is all, also a big part of that Eli Broad headset . . . but, not of Josh Harris. and certainly not of Pseudo.
if nothing else, Pseudo, was true to its name. Long live Pseudo.
JOSH HARRIS ON THE FARM, an apple orchard upstate – Livingston, New York.
PHOTO/COPYRIGHT: NANCY SMITH. APRIL 20, 2003
the last I saw Luvvy, he was just an empty clown suit hanging in an otherwise empty closet, in a totally empty and way eerie old bedroom in the original farmhouse – up at the farm.
It was scary. It was like the ‘damaged goods’, deranged and/or developmentally challenged child, they used to hide up in the attic, in the old days. It was like Chuckie – the evil doll, hiding in the closet, ready to jump at you. too scary to trash, but nobody you wanted to invite to dinner, either.
he had gotten Josh into a lot of trouble, and he was hung up, for now.
JOSH HARRIS ON THE ORCHARD’S TRACTOR.
PHOTO/COPYRIGHT: NANCY SMITH. APRIL 20, 2003.
JOSH had bought the farm, and another tract of apple orchards, at the height of the dotcom money game but retreated there, when the bubble burst. He was into it for awhile but really didn’t have the ‘downside’ brains or nature to stick it out. the next big idea was always a siren calling to him.
though he did as usual (!!) call the trend before it happened.
boutique farming, targeted niche local farm produce marketing, etc, etc. One of the things he tossed off casually, that struck me as omen-like was: “in a few years, the next apple you buy at Dean and Deluca will have a bar code on it – certifying where it’s from.”
anybody bought an apple lately. check – on that !! little stickers with bar codes – on every single one.
anybody eaten in a high-end locavore restaurant – check on that too.
they even have a name for it now, farm-to-table dining.
PHOTO/COPYRIGHT: NANCY SMITH. APRIL 20, 2003.
this is MARK ENGER, he’s the guy who silkscreened all those Luvvy hipster dotcom CEO jackets that Josh favored !!
MARK was an amazing artist . . . and an army brat, and a deep south redneck to boot !!
he taught Josh how to shoot.
Josh was way into redneck before it – just recently swept the nation – and our TV screens. just like the farm produce. natch.
Josh was a natural born trend-caller.
if that isn’t being an artist, I don’t know what is.
I say was, with regards to Mark, because sadly Mark left us for that great big cowboy ranch up in the sky, just about this time last year. throat cancer. well, you can see for yourself, the constant ciggie hanging from his mouth. he also didn’t ever have any ventilation in his homemade jerry-rigged silkscreen studios, and he never drank water, always preferring coke and beer. so there ya go, another great one – bites the dust.
I don’t know who misses him more, me or Josh.
PHOTO/COPYRIGHT: NANCY SMITH, APRIL 20, 2003
grilling up a freshly killed hedgehog.
note the shot-up chair, ha. anything was target practice.
I don’t think anybody actually had the stomach to eat it. but it was also all about ‘future’ survival – up on the farm. they, Josh and Mark even produced a limited edition slightly bigger-than-a-shoebox ‘Survival Kit’ – for urban dwellers caught in the for sure to come future perfect, NOT !! you know gas mask, disposable hazmat suit, the works. they tried to get somebody in the city, translate: art scene, to show it. but there were no takers. big surprise, NOT. there is nothing like being totally ahead of the curve, and timing is EVERYTHING.
but duh. of course, I have one. I think they made 3 in total.
PHOTO/COPYRIGHT: NANCY SMITH, APRIL 20, 2003.
the farm had been a real working orchard going way way back, so it had all these old out-buildings, and then more recent, but still old trailer park trailers, covered in corrugated red metal, that had been used to house the small army of migrant workers who used to come pick the apples, in the old days.
vintage wallpaper: check.
in fact one of the most fun things about the farm, besides the small amount of apples they did manage to produce, which were delicious, bye the way – was that you could walk around the place and find old ‘artifacts’ everywhere. even ca. 1930 ‘Blue Ridge’ hand painted Appalachian dishes, etc.
Mark lived in a trailer, and had his studio in an old garage offsite. it started off real well, but then Josh got into mind games, and Mark felt trapped. they shoulda done a reality show, right then and there. Mark Enger vs Honey Boo Boo, Enger wins. sometimes being too smart, and too ahead of the game is not so much great.
repeat: timing is everything, and too often this big ole world turns too slowly for it’s best ‘trailblazers’.
but, talk about authentic . . .
PHOTO/COPYRIGHT: NANCY SMITH, APRIL 20, 2003.
MARK ENGER, one-of-a-kind silkscreen on aluminum folded back into a box.
bottomline: MARK was a great artist – a real American icon, and I have no doubt one day – his stuff will be selling for big $$. put it this way. I’d rather spend one hour in his company than read a decade’s worth of New York Times Weekend ARTS & LEISURE.
for me, that was the also the bottomline on Josh. for a guy who came out of UCLA Business School and ran a dotcom start-up, who rode the tech bubble and crashed back to earth, the most fascinating thing about him, to me, was his ability to call the art. that the artworld was not in lockstep – was very hard to explain to him.
and if it had, things would have gone very different, I’m sure.
bitter, who me ? Josh, maybe . . .
Mark ? dead.
IF you saw WE LIVE IN PUBLIC the movie – MARK ENGER was the drunken cowboy who couldn’t get back in the party, while Josh ‘joshed’ it up, yuk yuk with the security crew off camera. haha.
well, that’s the way Pseudo rolled, too.
MARK ENGER also silkscreened those famous blue ‘target’ circles on the ‘QUIET’ in-house crew uniforms.
I am still . . . floored that despite the global and far-reaching popular, tech world, and critical success of ‘WE LIVE IN PUBLIC’, and now the book, ‘TOTALLY WIRED: On the Trail of the Great Dotcom Swindle’ . . . that the art world, and in particular the local New York art scene from which it birthed – is (still) totally non-recognisant of the phenom that continues to steamroller – over the rest of the world, but lies unknown at home.
and this despite, Josh being labelled many times over, around the world, as: ‘the Andy Warhol of the web’ – !!
I mean come on, they are reading about Josh, Pseudo and the underground art scene of New York City – in Abu Dhabi, for god’s sake.
I guess . . it would have taken that other shoe to drop – the inspired dealer.
not to mention a few really enlightened art critics. and collectors.
well, if there is any justice to be had, the New York Times Art Review section is largely ignored now, or at the very least does not occupy anywhere close to the mandatory role it had a decade ago. if you look at the Times art section now – it’s largely for the institutional, i.e. museum coverage.
and even that sometimes they get wrong, CATTELAN at the Guggenheim, anybody ?
and of course – the Antiques column. ha.
and, if you turn to the supposedly swift flying underground blogsphere, MOST DEF NOT including these pages, duh – about all you get is: we know the art out there is bad – but what about the role of . . . the bad review, or something equally impeccably informative, NOT.
SO, WAS LUVVY TO BLAME ?
OR WAS THE JOSH HARRIS/PSEUDO EMPIRE just too big ?
for the ratworld, I mean artworld to contemplate . . seeing as how they like shows, and o.k. “installations” – that fit into a gallery space in one neat, even if deconstructed, package.
was Josh . . . a ‘performance artist’ of the near future, i.e. of now – rather than of then: a game player, a site specific commentator . . . and a shape shifter ?
just a couple of decades ahead of his time. art wise ?
JOSH HARRIS as his alter ego – LUVVY.
in a media-driven world, a sophisticated and graphic design-driven art world – this side of Luvvy, was a good bet, image-wise.
but, Luvvy the full-blown idiot savant clown, not so.
especially when he was hosting live sex competitions. though seriously – what is the web if not 3/4 porn and hook-up sites.
I mean the deal is, he also called the Facebook networking side of things, so maybe that kind of mind – has to let off steam ? has to roam free and wild.
I mean, who knows what you are ‘calling’ per se, as you seriously, and unconsciously for the most part – foray into an unknown future ?
especially one that is of the mind, or rather . . . the ‘alternative universe of the mind’ / the web, as it was to evolve.
I mean as GALINSKY aka underdog88 so eloquently put it: back in the early days of Pseudo, we’re talking the early 90s, the days of ‘dial-up’ . . . “we had to go to the Library at Yale .. to get a good signal.” (!!)
“No, I never walked into a board room as Luvvy . . . I’m not an idiot.” ~ JOSH HARRIS
“Luvvy is NOT a clown, he is all the media I have consumed in my life.” ~ JOSH HARRIS.
famous, last (!!) words. ha.
WATCH: LUVVY THE CLOWN . . . WE LIVE IN PUBLIC – DVD RELEASE !!
WATCH: LUVVY: PEOPLE ARE GOING TO ASK . . .
this is JASON CALACANIS in that LUVVY THE CLOWN – WE LIVE IN PUBLIC – DVD RELEASE.
an important dynamic in the PSEUDO CREW, he went on to become a successful entrepreneur of digital media himself. Calacanis used to chronicle New York’s tech scene in his publication, ‘The Silicon Alley Reporter’, and
he is on record . . .
for stating that JOSH HARRIS . . . “is one of the 10 most important people in the history of the Internet.” (!!)
even more interestingly, in one of the ** truly ** underground NYC art scene’s more interesting & worst kept secrets, happening right now !! . . . ROBERT GALINSKY/underdog88 has been running a behind-the-scenes ‘thread’ that started up around the publication of Andrew Smith’s book: ‘TOTALLY WIRED’.
it’s been producing some really interesting debates, and some amazing first person factual contributions have arisen, perhaps none more provocative than those that addressed Josh’s ‘time sensitive’ message for ‘funds’ so that . . . the “Lou Ann” that runs his apparently seedy “hotel” in Nevada – wouldn’t evict him – “tomorrow”. and it included his payoal info – and Lou Ann’s phone no. !!
it was immediately followed by one cynical Pseudo ex-employee countering: “if you believe that . . . I have a planet for you.” !!
to which JASON CALACANIS replied, something to effect that: JOSH has stayed at my place for the past 16 months and I fronted him in 10+ poker tournaments, going on to state that . . “It was an amazing run, but when the new baby came – Josh had to leave the nest.” !!
JOSH HARRIS – PHOTO BY EVAN SUNG – for the NEW YORK TIMES
I think this, was that JASON CALACANIS gig . . . referred to, in this 2009 article in the NEW YORK TIMES, in their FASHION & STYLE (!!) SECTION:
“These days, Mr. Harris sleeps in a friend’s pool house in Los Angeles and earns a meager living playing poker at a racetrack.” (!!)
see: ‘For Digital Pioneer, the Web was No Safety Net’ – by ALLEN SALKIN, NEW YORK TIMES, AUG 28 2009
‘WE LIVE IN PUBLIC’ also scored a big full page write-up in the NEW YORK TIMES, MOVIE SECTION – when it scored that SUNDANCE 2009 TROPHY.
but never a word in the Art pages.
I mean come on – ‘QUIET’ the millennium party slash art installation that anchors the film, was first and foremost – an art installation !! with over 99 artists in residence, whose on-going work was open to the public – for 2 weeks, 24/7. and it was packed day and night . . . non-stop.
ha. For ‘Digital Pioneer, the Web was no safety net !!” – and, the art world, didn’t help.
just a bunch of short-sighted sheep, is pretty much it – the New York City art world, been going downhill ever since . . .
ever since ELI BROAD couldn’t move past early 80s stars CINDY SHERMAN & JEFF KOONS, and nobody else popped up, with the same kind of clout or money !! – who could keep the market evolving.
ART HISTORY 101 – in a nutshell.
if you haven’t caught the WE LIVE IN PUBLIC – TRAILER, YET ? dude how lame ?
here’s the link: WE LIVE IN PUBLIC – THE TRAILER
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.
‘TOTALLY WIRED: On the Trail of the Great Dotcom Swindle’ – by ANDREW SMITH. PUBLISHER: SIMON and SCHUSTER
scored a really great, and very insightful review in the NATIONAL – today: SAT OCT 6, 2012
written by ALAN WHITE, the concise but eloquent essay, does a really nice job of defining the book itself, introducing Josh, and setting up the scene . . a good capsule account of the early Internet days: past, present and future.
BTW: THE NATIONAL is the ABU DHABI Media company’s first English-language publication, setting a “new standard of quality English-language journalism in the Middle East.” (!!)
“It may be about a series of events that happened years ago, but it’s the first great analysis of the Internet Age”.
“ANDREW SMITH’S first book ‘MOONDUST’ was an investigation into what happened to the astronauts who walked on the moon after they completed their mission. His second book likewise is about a man who ascended to the uncharted heights, and fell to Earth. Like the astronauts, he saw things no other person had seen before, and like the astronauts it left him burnt out. Who is he, and what did he see ?
His name is JOSH HARRIS . . .”
continues . . . : TOTALLY WIRED reviewed in the NATIONAL – OCT 6, 2012
see: TOTALLY WIRED by ANDREW SMITH on AMAZON
JOSH HARRIS – at the MOMA/MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, NYC – WE LIVE IN PUBLIC PREMIERE. APRIL 2009.
PHOTO CREDIT: WE LIVE IN PUBLIC – ARCHIVE