Recently, my friend Christy Shigekawa and I screened some of our work as part of Microscope Gallery’s “YES” – a series of screenings devoted to showcasing moving-image works by emerging artists.
The show was picked by ARTnews as one of the more noteworthy art events of the week; check out the write-up here.
I wasn’t able to do much documentation, but I was able to get some lousy phone photos as people were starting to come in:
Thanks to all who came out!
This blog has fallen into disuse; the solution to disuse is, of course, use. More to come…
Secret Behavior is a new publication, centered on contemporary art and the human condition. The magazine is a creation of Brooklyn-based artist and curator James Gallagher, and the first issue – concerning themes of anonymity – includes writing and editing by me (and also my brother, Keith Newton). Secret Behavior is carried by Distributed Art Publishers, and will soon be available in specialty/curated bookstores; you can also purchase copies online.
Last night I was going through the print publications I’ve accumulated over this past while: not newspapers, magazines or catalogs, but homemade or house-made, generally stapled, often Xeroxed, almost all made of paper folded in two. Pamphlets, low-rent journals, auxiliary materials for exhibitions. There are romantic personal records of devoted nomads, intellectual awakenings of youthful idealists, desperate information earnestly curated through righteous politicized consciences, far-left no-frills polemical tracts meant to be taken seriously, scraps of poetry and malformed fiction, beautifully-printed little narratives, anarchy, feminism, illness, desire, and then the aloof, intellectualized high-art booklets, either lushly printed or dire and isolate; glossy ink or black-toner austerity. I put them all into a pile, and I have to ask, is there a way to combine all these things? Any more than I already have?
The “Articles” page is now updated with various art criticism that I’ve written over these past few years. Take a look:
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In 2006 and 2007, I volunteered as a literacy educator at a Detroit elementary school. The school principal thought my time would be better spent as an art teacher (like so many public schools, this school had barely any money for art classes). For this particular project (one of a few teaching projects I did there), I created images of everyday detritus which gave way to a hidden face – a monster, nicknamed “Dark Fire” by the kids; the students had to create related drawings in order to bring about the next image in the sequence. Of course there’re messages here: of finding mysterious things in the everyday, and of the power of art to gain access to new worlds, but there was another message, too. While configuring things from the local environment into different forms, I was thinking of how written language creates worlds of meaning from a rather limited assortment of raw material (letters, numbers, punctuation). In some small sense, I was teaching language.
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The thing on the left may be a cut-rate oracle, or an alien site from an old b-movie. The dogs on the right may be in some sort of rapturous ecstasy or tremendous pain.
The thing on the left is a model of a structure used for dog training, based on an old U.S. military dog training manual. The dogs on the right are German shepherds—the most popular sort of breed for military and police purposes—photographed at the home of a friendly dog trainer in suburban Michigan.