Tuesday, December 30, 2008

RedBull and Lotus Entertainment's Sunglasses At Night

For more information check out the facebook event page HERE

Saturday, December 27, 2008


George Bellows

2008 was a rough year for the type of assets that are vulnerable to market fluctuations.

40% of the value of the US stock market ($7.3 trillion) has simply evaporated. Major companies collapsed as the global credit system melted down and a wide variety of sophisticated financial instruments became untrustworthy overnight. Unemployment soared.
The world will face some excruciating economic hardships over the next few years.

But there are other assets that don't lose their value regardless of how much markets fluctuate. The strength and insight behind that remarkable Bellows drawing stayed with him, and colored his perception of life, regardless of what was happening in the stock market that day.

In fact, some of the greatest artistic periods in human history arose during periods of great turmoil and strife. The golden age of Greece was forged in a period of bitter feuds between warring city states, when invasion by outside powers threatened to snuff out Greece altogether, and when an impoverished lower class was recovering from subjugation by the wealthy class. Here is Orson Welles' famous cuckoo clock speech from the Third Man:

Laurence Olivier said, "If you are an artist, you have to prove it."

Let's get to work.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Fields of Industry at Mittenfest III

Dec. 26-28 at the Elbow Room in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
See the full schedule here.

RedBull Snowscrapers Coming To The Big Apple

Matt from Redbull just sent us the info for this event. If your in the area (NYC) be sure to check this out! LINK

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Of birds and the onlookers responsibility:a few words on a video by Koerner Union

I don't remember how I found the video below. It popped up, and I watched, curious, then mesmerized, then disturbed, then - disgusted.
I decided not to post it on New Art. So as not to encourage something I find incorrect, or rather - wrong.
After a while I came back to see it, and watched the whole thing again. And I thought: who am I to judge this? After all, didn't I watch it with curiosity, and watch the whole thing, twice? Why can't I show what's disturbing me, bringing it forward to this public forum, so everyone can make her own mind?
But first, let me warn you: in my opinion, animals were being hurt in the making of this work. If you want to be absolutely sure you don't participate in any way in the popularity of this work, do not see the film below.

I would not resist if I were you. Maybe I would do it for the sake of something (it's a scary skill, thinking up good reasons). But I would be there, peeking in. Maybe not until the end. But then, it doesn't matter, does it? Does it?
The question of the onlooker, his power and his role in the process of creation, might often be used in contemporary art - but very seldom is it addressed in-depth. What is our responsibility? Can shutting our eyes be a good way of "appreciating" and yet disliking the work? Can I refuse something without knowing what it is? What do we know about the work we see above? About the conditions of its creation? Should I even be posting this without that knowledge?
See this strange video, also directed by Körner (Koerner) Union. (Be patient.)

Now, the astonishing part with the hen makes me question my own assumptions. Was my judgement too simplistic, also in the other case? Maybe this is just a short moment, or maybe it's all a trick, maybe the birds are not bumping against the mirror, shocking against it violently, thinking there is space where a solid mirror remains? Maybe it was all digitally manipulated or they were trained, or something? Or maybe I'm being hypersensitive?

Relax, now.

Here are a few untortured animals, in a wonderful picture by Isabella Rozendaal.
No, this is no antidote to these moral dilemmas. But it's an appeasement: the gentle distance. Rozendaal is someone who appreciates " the remarkable and humorous things she encounters in real life". And a way of approaching reality which plays with the idea of "amateur" photography, so we feel like this is almost too easy, and yet, remarkably appealing.

Yet, after all this, let's make a circle, and go back to Korner Union, with a video that somehow makes one think of the pictures above, with simple stories that are just slightly off (and a great song by Don Cavalli)...

But my favorite thing by Korner Union is quite minimalistic I suppose and maybe it's just this mood, tonight, with all the snow melted away, thawed and relaxed and, well, it's a page I found on their soon-to-be-active site. It also takes part in the game of hide-and-seek between the onlookers and the people-who-show-as-things-we-like. And it's simple.

Something Cool: MUTO a wall-painted animation by BLU

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


He was born and raised in the slums of Boston, the son of Russian immigrants. When he was still a boy, his father died, leaving Apatoff the sole support for his family. He rode a battered bicycle around town after school seeking odd jobs, and he worked nights as a janitor. His childhood was grim and filled with challenges, but through it all he dreamed of becoming an artist.

He put himself through the Massachusetts College of Art & Design, working nights. Here is his portrait of a cleaning woman he admired.

After graduation, he went to Chicago where he set up an easel in his apartment and taught painting at the Art Institute of Chicago. He married an Iowa farm girl and had children, who he adored. This is his portrait of me when I was three:

Before long, Apatoff found himself with six children to support and a lot of bills to pay. He put aside his fine art aspirations and became an art director in an advertising agency. Politically radical, he ruefully recounted that now his job was to sell "candy to rot teeth, tobacco to rot lungs, televisions to rot minds, and liquor to rot livers."

Every once in a while his fine art yearnings managed to find an outlet in his commercial work, as in this sketch of a bicentennial bottle for the Miller Brewing Company.

When I was young, I loved to accompany him on Sunday trips to the art museum. He would stride into a huge room filled with grand baroque paintings, size up the room in ten seconds and growl, "they should bring a garbage truck around back and throw out every painting in this room except this one and that one." Then he would stride briskly on to the next room as I raced on my little legs to keep up. But driving home, he might stop the car for 10 minutes to revel in the color of paint on an industrial water tower illuminated in the afternoon sun. I never met a man with more anarchistic taste.

Now my father is gone forever. Today would have been his birthday and I miss him terribly. He sacrificed his own potential as an artist so that his kids could have a better life than he did.
He never expected anyone to see these paintings. I post them here to honor what he gave up for me, and to honor all those caught in the tug of war between art and life.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


The world has gossiped for 200 years about Goya's twin paintings of the Maja-- one with clothes and one without.

When the secret nude painting was discovered, Spanish society was scandalized: did Goya really have an affair with María del Pilar Teresa Cayetana de Silva Alvarez de Toledo, the 13th Duchess of Alba (and wife of the wealthiest man in Spain)?? And gee, is that what she really looks like under all those fancy clothes????

Today the two paintings hang side by side in the Prado where visitors continue to ponder those same eternal questions.

From the flickr account of lapernas 2.0

The Maja certainly bared her secrets in this painting but Goya had a few secrets of his own, and he stripped himself bare in artwork that was far more revealing than his painting of the Maja.

For 40 years, Goya was a royal court painter who painted flattering portraits of aristocrats and nobles. But underneath he was the opposite; he detested the idle and corrupt aristocracy and painted passionate images sympathetic to the oppressed peasants.

Goya also championed the philosophy of the Enlightenment. He treasured its ideals of rationality and logic. But underneath, he was a superstitious man, obsessed with dreams and mysticism. He made eerie paintings of devils and witches and bats.

As another example, the public Goya created art glorifying generals and military victories while the private Goya was creating devastating etchings condemning The Disasters of War.

Goya was considered a bon vivant who lived for a while on a lavish estate while he consorted with royalty. Yet, underneath it all, he was a deaf, embittered hermit who distanced himself from others and painted his private musings in dark paintings about a world gone mad.

One of his private black paintings, a "half-submerged dog," is a bleak and ghostly image that makes no sense at all (and for that reason, is all the more frightening):

Goya stripped off civilization, stripped off pretense and affect, even stripped off linear thought, to paint himself in a profoundly naked way.

Most people would rather focus on the bared Maja than on Goya's bared soul. Art experts and pedants have lots of fun obsessing over whether the nude Maja shows the first pubic hair in the history of western art. Even the Spanish Inquisition preferred to focus on the nude Maja; they never investigated Goya for his subversive political views, but they demanded that he appear before them to account for his nude painting (perhaps foreshadowing special prosecutor Kenneth Starr).

In one sense the nudity of the Maja seems frivolous and shallow compared to Goya's nakedness. But on the other hand, if you spend enough time pondering the bleakness of Goya's black paintings, you start to yearn for rescue from the onslaught of the night. And it's in such dire circumstances that you begin to appreciate that a naked thigh or a pubic curl have a profundity of their own.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Guyz Nyte ft. Oscilabot - Domino's Effect

In preparation of the transcendent freedom jazz experience of live
Flatlands Collective, the Guyz order a pie and invite reclusive
synth-smasher Oscilabot over for a pre-game of hot mozzarella and
cold-war tension soundscaping. Liberation guitar marches, electronic
missile commands and mixing console standoffs ripple through this
live-to-tape-deck sizzler. Says one hard-to-impress collaborator on
the playback en route to the main event, "This is actually pretty
Get it here.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Changing the focus

Halima Bashir meeting with George Bush.
In some cases, getting to a more aesthetic experience means moving away from the knowledge, choosing to forget the information we might have. Here we have a picture that has a very good, rational explanation: an African political activist fears for her life, so in order to remain entirely anonymous, she drapes herself entirely. The cause, peace in Darfur, is very noble, Halima Bashir's story (you have the link above) is shocking.
But this same picture can be seen differently. Here we have the president of the USA in conversation with the Unknown, the absolute Stranger. Here is a confrontation of the American/Western values, aesthetics, mode of functioning (notice the microphones!), attitude (the gesture! the gesture!) with the ghost of another world. It is a beautiful picture, and the most outstanding thing about it is - it's a readymade.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Say Word: Info Mania

Info Mania is a half-hour satirical news show that airs on Current TV. The show puts a comedic spin on the 24-hour chaos and information overload. "Chewing up the week's media so we can
regurgitate it, half-digested, into your mouth" Every Thursday night 10pm EST. Funny! Check out this weeks episode HERE

We Like Art: Nate Cousins

Every month we will be posting some of our favorite (local and international) artists-graphic design, photography, etc. Its only right that our head designer for Lotus Entertainment and The Lab gets the first spot. Nate is a long time friend but also in our opinion, one of the best graphic designers Vermont has to offer. And dont get it twisted, the green mountain state has its fair share of talent-JDK, Tick Tick, Modern Riot-to name a few. For more on Nate's work and contact infomation Click Here

Kill The Noize This Thursday

Our good friends Nexus Management are starting a new series titled Electro Magnetic. First up to bat, Kill The Noize with Tricky Pat, REM, Haitian, Chris Pattison and Echonomic. Dang, this show is going to be craze. Club Metronome this Thursday night! Where you be?

Ecco Clothing Presents CONTRADICT: Holiday Bash With Fashion Show

Lotus Entertainment DJ's Russell and ZJ will be working with Ecco Clothing, Mirror Mirror and The Justin Cruz Salon to help benefit COTS this Saturday December 13th. CLICK HERE for more information

Theatre and Dance Archives

This site will present many previously unseen photos and videos, reviews and articles from Theatre and Dance productions that I have had the honor of producing or directing. Materials are archived for theatrical research for performers, directors, choreographers, designers and audiences.

If you have materials related to these productions feel free to contribute.
Thank you,

Monday, December 8, 2008

Twisting and turning (with a little help from electricity)

Daito Manabe is a funny guy.

But he also knows his business. This is no accidental work, as Manabe is a serious artist and very serious programmer. While looking through his work, I came across a video fragment of a stunning performance where he was in charge of programming (more specifically, of "sound/oscillation/programming"), a work called true, directed by dumb type's Takayuki Fujimoto. And, as expected from the co-creator of one of the most outstanding multimedia performance groups ever, this is... well, prepare to be amazed.


Sunday, December 7, 2008


God, I love comics.

This cover from a 1940 comic book is not so much a drawing as a riot of the themes inside the heart of an adolescent boy.

Anyone who ever learned to draw will recognize their first few faltering steps here: how to hide the feet you don't quite know how to draw; the temptation to squeeze in every cool trick you've learned-- a skull, a punch, a broken wall, an axe-- whether it fits in the drawing or not; and of course, a girl in a slinky dress, perfected during those agonizing years when it was easier to invent your own girl than talk to a real one.

The drawing, just like an adolescent boy, is an awkward jumble of overlapping themes with no perspective or coordination.

There may come a day when these childish impulses are no longer so benign-- the boy grows up, and the sweet patriotism of that Uncle Sam may lead to narrow minded jingoism; the infatuation with a punch may lead to pointless violence; and the tied up girl may lead to who knows what. But for now, it is perfectly innocent.

This is clearly not a well executed drawing, but if you promise not to tell anyone, I think its sweetness and purity still qualify it as a lovely one.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

From teaching to curating

I have been giving some video/art workshops recently, as part of the Stranger Festival process (produced in Poland by Kultura Miejska).
I am quite astonished by the quality of the work my students made. Below are three examples of work I find particularly interesting. The Stranger Festival might not be the ideal place for them, but after a little post-production, I will be sending them to galleries and festivals. It really makes me think of creating a sort of a production system with workshops and then promotion of selected works, like a curator/producer...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Spot Light: Santo Gold

Santo Gold has been around for a while. Even though we have friends that personally know Santo, its been impossible to book a show with the rising star. And just recently featured on Common's new album (Universal Mind Control) plus Jay Z's newest single BROOKLYN GO HARD Ft. Santo Gold (download)-dont expect to see her in Vermont anytime soon :(

Angel Wing

Music Video Of The Month: Busta Rhymes In Arab Money

Who the F is Ron Bronz?! Haha maybe Pop Champagne will make the cut for next month.