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The fact is that the world is divided between users of the Macintosh computer and users of MS-DOS compatible computers. I am firmly of the opinion that the Macintosh is Catholic and that DOS is Protestant. Indeed, the Macintosh is counter-reformist and has been influenced by the ratio studiorum of the Jesuits. It is cheerful, friendly, conciliatory; it tells the faithful how they must proceed step by step to reach -- if not the kingdom of Heaven -- the moment in which their document is printed. It is catechistic: The essence of revelation is dealt with via simple formulae and sumptuous icons. Everyone has a right to salvation. Umberto Eco Mac History Image held here
Utopia Matters: From Brotherhoods to Bauhaus
January 23–April 11, 2010 at Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin
Following World War I, avant-gardes turned to the utopian notion of harmony they saw in abstraction and optimistically endeavored to ameliorate society through art and design. Utopia Matters: From Brotherhoods to Bauhaus will examine a sequence of international case studies from the early nineteenth century through 1933, when the Bauhaus closed in Berlin and the ascendancy of Fascism and Stalinism curbed or negatively reframed artistic endeavors, and investigate the evolution of utopian ideas in modern Western artistic thought and practice. It will address the movements of Primitivism, the Nazarenes, the Pre-Raphaelites, William Morris and Arts and Crafts, the Cornish Colony, Neo-Impressionism, De Stijl, the Bauhaus, and Russian Constructivism. This exhibition is organized by Vivien Greene, Curator of 19th- and Early 20th-Century Art at the Guggenheim Museum. This exhibition will travel to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice on May 1, 2010. A fully illustrated catalogue with essays by Greene, noted historian Russell Jacoby, and design historian Victor Margolin will also accompany the exhibition.
Utopia and the Everyday
27th November 2009 – 14th Fenruary 2010 at Centre of Contemporary Art, Geneva
This exhibition invites various local players (associations, schools, etc.) to collaborate with artists and collectives who work within the contact areas between art and educational methods. These knowledge exchanges allow contemporary art and its institutions to become a privileged space for emancipation, transformation and educational experiments. Collaborations between artists and partner publics will be carried out in different projects, outside the Centre’s premises, and presented subsequently at the Centre. They will highlight the social, political, and environmental dimensions of these practices.
Curators : Katya García-Antón and microsillons
Image: László Moholy-Nagy, AXL II, 1927 held here
Spatial City: An Architecture of Idealism
First Exhibition of the Frac Collections in the United States – 2010
Institute of Visual Arts (Inova), Milwaukee, February 5 – April 18; Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, May 23 – August 8; Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit, September 10 – December 26
Spatial City is an art exhibition inspired by the theoretical architecture of Yona Friedman. Friedman’s ideas, disseminated in the aftermath of World War II, have influenced subsequent generations. French thinkers and conceptual artists have responded to his designs as philosophical constructs worthy of exploration, explication and confrontation. While Yona Friedman’s “utopia réalisable” informed the framework of the show, the selection of artwork reflects the cycling and recycling of optimism and cynicism in postwar culture. Artists in the exhibition are responding to society’s complex problems: the failed utopian social experiments that resulted in the dehumanizing conditions of Brutalist architecture, the rise and fall of totalitarian states, the tensions resulting from post-colonial immigration, and the destruction of the environment in the name of progress.
Images: ruined shopping mall outside the university; pyrite [fool's gold] at the university geology museum. Photographs by/ copyright Sarah Browne, with the kind co-operation of the Utopian Studies Society. 10th International conference of the Utopian Studies Society, Europe, at the University of Porto, Portugal, July 2009.
I’ve justed checked in to the Holiday Inn in Portland, Maine. For the next few days I will be attending a utopian studies conference here.
On the freeway from the airport, a sign read Welcome to Maine: the way life should be.
It was dark outside so there wasn’t much to see other than the neon signs of various franchises. I watched the DVD that was playing on the bus: it was set in the seventies (the heavy yellow colouring was a giveaway)and Mark Wahlberg played a part time barman from Philly who ended up playing in the NFL. He even scored a touchdown at the end. It felt different to watch this kind of film in the states, it made more sense somehow.
I’ve seen city buses covered in the legend Believe in Something Better (purple and spearmint; apparently not politically affiliated).
Election day is Tuesday. It’s an interesting time.
via ArtForum Picks
at THE KITCHEN
512 West 19th Street New York
June 18–August 1
In his essay “Entropy and the New Monuments” (1966), Robert Smithson diagnoses his contemporaries with an addiction to B movies: “The movies give a ritual pattern to the lives of many artists, and this induces a kind of ‘low-budget’ mysticism, which keeps them in a perpetual trance. The ‘blood and guts’ of horror movies provides for their ‘organic needs,’ while the ‘cold steel’ of Sci-fic movies provides for their ‘inorganic needs.’” One can certainly catch in the titanium (or tinfoil) of midcentury sci-fi schlock the first gleam of a “Juddian ‘specific object’” (Smithson’s coinage). But what of now, when—in the wake of Blade Runner, or William Gibson’s burned-fuse hackers, or even that barnacled adjective Ballardian—the future has become a decidedly dirtier place?
From the perspective of the artists surveyed in “The Future as Disruption,” tomorrow is already a relic. Mungo Thomson’s audio piece of “replicant” voices reciting an oral history of Blade Runner’s production comes piped through a noticeably dingy alarm-clock radio. Jonah Freeman plays off his previous imaginings of a labyrinthine superstructure called the Franklin Abraham with a museum display of deteriorating texts. Simone Leigh’s sculptures become weathered artifacts occupying an uneasy space between a Louise Bourgeouis tribute exhibition and the cover of Bitches Brew.
Several paintings and digital renderings of dystopian landscapes are disappointing in their directness. That said, the exhibition’s most memorable employ of science fiction as raw material is perhaps the most literal: Julieta Aranda reduces dime-store sci-fi novels to a sandy pulp and encases them in a Perspex cube, the interior of which is agitated by the spasmodic bursts of an attached air compressor. In an accompanying series of close-up photographs, the resulting environment resembles the vast desert expanses of Frank Herbert or George Lucas—or, strangely enough, the famous 1920 photograph of dust accumulating on the “Large Glass.” When finally we reach the future, Duchamp will be there waiting.
– Colby Chamberlain