Monday, October 31, 2011

Greg: Back to the Future

For discussion in class on Nov. 7, Greg's group will read:
= catalogue to "Building Expectation: Past and Present Visions of the Architectural Future" by Nathaniel Walker, for the exhibit at Brown University's Bell Gallery in Providence through Nov. 6, 2011.
= excerpt from "Jane Jacobs, Urban Activist is Dead at 89" by Douglas Martin, New York Times, April 25, 2006.

Some questions to consider: How do the ways we imagine the future open up or limit possibilities for what actually happens? Do the imagined futures described in the catalogue emphasize people, buildings, roads, nature, animals, business, food production, etc.? What do these focuses say about the designers' values?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Greg: Abstraction in Photography

For class on Oct. 31, Greg's group will read and discuss Lyle Rexer's "The Edge of Vision: The Rise of Abstraction in Photography."

Some questions to consider: How does abstract art continue to speak to us? When we pare down art to its basic formal parts what do we get? What does abstract photography's frequent focus on time and light tell us? How do we continue to make photos--and other art--in the age of Flickr?

You may also want to consider:
= Alec Soth's 2009 talk at MassArt: "Facebook: 15 billion uploaded photos. At its busiest, 550,000 images each second being uploaded. So I’ve been struggling with that. How do I function as a photographer in that environment?”

Pictured: Penelope Umbrico "4,335,921 Suns from Flickr (Partial) 10/20/08 (detail of 2,000)," 2008.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Greg: Art of Cruelty vs. Art of Joy

For class on Oct. 24, Greg's group will read and discuss:
= Maggie Nelson's "The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning"
= Barbara Ehrenreich's "Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy"

Does art require conflict to be satisfying? How to we convey cruelty or joy in art? Is it harder to convey one than the other? What do we hope to share with viewers? How might shock help get this across? How might these readings reframe our sense of the new MFA contemporary wing? How might these readings relate to the ICA's exhibit "Dance/Draw"?

Photo by Greg Cook.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Greg: Art/Work

For classes of Oct. 17, Greg's class will be discussing:

= This American Life: "Giant Pool of Money" broadcast
= "The Workers" exhibit at MassMoCA
= Boston Phoenix: "Activist transform Boston bus shelters into foreclosed homes"
= Seattle Stranger: "A Black Box and a Bloody Mess..."
= New York Times: "Art That Sells Itself"

Essay assignment: Pick one of the artists in MassMoCA's "The Workers" exhibit and compare their art to the activists' bus shelters and Caleb Larsen's "A Tool to Deceive and Slaughter" and "$10,000 Sculpture (in progress)" (pictured above). How do they address the art economy and/or the economy at large? Are some better or worse? Why? What do you learn from this sort of art? Is it satisfying as art or polemics? Etc.

See also:
= Occupy Wall Street
= Occupy Boston