Michael Zahn @john connelly presents625 West 27th Street Ground FloorNYC 10001
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"Looking at abstraction today makes it clear that it is a completely different exercise than it was for earlier generations. Ezra Pound’s famously quoted mandate to ‘make it new’ apparently still fits the bill, but for today’s artists it is a risky, perilous and rousing proposition"This painting is about as exciting, perilous and rousing as an easter egg hunt in a handball court.
for exampleway to go john, you really sucked the air out of the twinkie.
Those interested in the ebb and flow of art syles might enjoy reading or re-reading Donald Kuspit's "Dialectic of Decadence" which addresses some of what this show claims to be about.After the last three posted paintings, I found this one really refreshing... for about 10 seconds.
I hate to say this, but this work blows. Like, really blows.
nothing much here.
warhol Why is it that if you want a nice shirt it is either plaid or pastel or both? Are all the good designs copyrighted?
Note to self:This art sucks.
on a quick walk thru i read the show to be rather snide and insulting - however the press release was extremely earnest. is earnest the new glib?honestly i would put this on my office wall, it would be a good ice breaker.
I work in an office--and I dont think I want to break the ice.Anyway, glad JCP finally put up an installation view. White, Hesidence, Neel, those are my favorites. The work that is less refined. But I like that T Auerbach too--who doesnt like the black letter?
From the press release:"For a young artist to be making work at this moment in what could be called an abstract or non-representational manner, be it vaguely gestural, lyrical, or geometric in mode, is consciously or not, a highly personal and political act. With few exceptions, the history of the last 15 years has largely shunned modes of abstraction. Much maligned and critiqued – and often used as strategy for conceptually based work – it has been largely banished to the sidelines by an art world enthralled by photography, installation, animation and romantic figuration."
i think its supposed to be unpretentiously pretentious. God Im so confused. Like its pretentious to make art want to be life - at least baudrillard says that. Art is life in the sense that the artificial is natural, but then why make the distinction at all?Art vs. NatureFood vs. DrugsDrugs vs. AlcoholWarhol is famous for saying that a coke is a Coke no matter how rich you are. Well art is art, no matter how much you pay for it.Qualitatively you could argue that some art is more desireable - but what is desire "worth"?A lot of art is affectless - generating no desire as a fetish. Yet some art without "objecthood" (the fetish) is communicative or has an effect. Is it good to have an effect without an object?The abject is away of disapearing the object. Are we selling essences? Does this work capture an essence?We pay teachers for distilled knowledge. Is this work distilled?And finally, isn't the whiff of perfume you are smelling something that should be fucking hog tied and sent back to squaresville?
Hmmm John Connelly again...It's a real one-stop-shop isn't it?And Zahn, do you suppose he's done time in VM?21st-Century-Chaim-Steinbach-Man!Take A Walk on The Mild SideDo do-do do do do-do do...
i also work in an office. corporate culture - corporate america baby - 5 years. i kinda get off on it in a David Byrne way. I have seen you do things backwardYou don’t believe a word I sayNow you’re holdin’ sticky paperMoney never fades awayand i would still put these in my office.
It would be nice to use these as actual post-it notes in an office,..when you're done, throw it out and use another. that would be exciting and make life in an office less monotonous..Maybe i would just be happy to mess up someones art..
Does anybody know any artists that live in the Northern New Jersey suburbs that knows the scene well there?If they can show me around and introduce me to some artists or bring me to some artists' studios, I'd be willing to pay them.I would pay maybe around $500 for one or two saturdays for them to show me around.I need to study this scene. I would also potentially purchase works.
What the hell's wrong with you apelles? Just get on the PATH train and when you get to NJ, go find a dive bar w/ a good jukebox. Make sure you're there around 4 or 5 pm. Then start talkin' all that stuff about the Rennaissance and they'll just start crowding around you...Someone caught me urinating in the shower at the gym the other day. They said whether I knew it or not, what I was doing was a highly personal and political act. I agreed, we shook hands, and we decided never to speak of it again.
Hey, I've got a great idea! I'll paint three rectangles and a square in pastel colors and make them vaguely reminiscent of blank pop up adds on the Teletubbies fanclub website!!That would be brilliant!Doesn't this guy have anyone to bounce ideas off of?
im interested as NWM pointed out, in the obvious (deliberate or deluded) discrepancy between the work and the statement.What is the function of heroicizing the blandness of work like this?
You get some idea of what Zahn’s bouncing off here –http://www.minusspace.com/log/brennan-zahn.htmA lot of it’s sort of predictable – Halley, Web graphics, Albers, Mondrian (so I’m off-target with the Steinbach link and intrigued by the inclusion of Pete Saville’s graphics) – which sort of delivers decisions about color, line and shape – what I’m missing is scale and surface, and even this example, to gauge from the wall behind, seems a bit over-sized. Although it might work face to face.What’s being abstracted here then are graphic formats I suppose. But what I can’t see from just jpegs is how this fits with painting. Thinking about it, it does link with Halley but maybe needs to push text or photos/pictures as well. Surely the debate in abstraction currently is over this kind inclusion or ‘purity’?The pastel thing definitely needs more than just the windows overlap/pop-up structure. Zahn’s installations might make this stuff work better.
This Jersey thing... It's about car insurance, isn't it?The economy of everything just aboutboils down to insurance, doesn't it?Culture notwithstanding!
Old guy,I think what's being feebly abstractedis culture as it fits into formats.Problem is, graphics are the least interesting caualty of formatting.At least in Zahn's case. f-kn boorring.Take this as a format for instance. Much more effective in revealing an interesting discourse btwn myriad cultures... short-lived though it might be... Why are fine artists always the last to discover Adorno's fabled prototype of art?
QQ - Did the colours seem paler or richer, for the greater size?I'm willing to accept that the whole thing in fact looks silly on that sort of scale.
The mocquet might actually be the best thing on the page right now.Who would agree with me?
How can jersey be defeating us right now? It's freaking impossible.We have the best shit. The best museums. The best places to exhibit. The best lighting. The best art schools.What does jersey have? The turnpike?Do you think because we are living in a global world where a lot of art is accessible to anyone on the internet, and you can buy any paint or canvas online, that there can exist a group of people outside a major cultural center that can produce art of a consistently better quality than the people that live inside the major cultural center?australia used to have a lot of modernist knockoff painters. But now, in this age, is it possible that one individual, or even a group of individuals from australia that hold daily meetings to discuss art theory and aesthetics, to become insanely good painters?Raphael was painting a lot like Perugino until he saw works by Leonardo in florence. If raphael saw these works at an earlier age, through the internet, would he have made faster progress in his work?
There's a lot to be said about not having the hassle of trains missing on the weekends... not to mention the ratsthe high rents, the headaches... Ifyou're a young painter on the Halsey L,you're better off in Jersey I suppose.Access is reletive.
oh jesus. Yeah, Moquet, master of the hand turkey. Listen I got your pop-up blocker - thats why I use Firefox, which crashes when I open PDF's whatever. You get acclimated. I dont need my millieu called into question or problematized by anyone, let alone some snot nosed NJ fucktard. I can do that myself.enter the bad poetry contest you know you want to.I'm with jpg critic. Make something interesting.
is australia over its aboriginal-modernism? I kind of enjoy that stuff in a bad is good kind of way.
I'm actually thinking of starting a magazine, called Brooklyn Crush Jersey.It will showcase contemporary painting from brooklyn.The purpose would be to show that we are superior to jersey and to counteract the jersey stuff that's been showing in philly over the past year or so.
five minutes after I discovered Lonelygir15 on Youtube I found out its fake. I'm totally devastated.I did realize that thre reason a lot of youtube girls act the same way is that they are imitating lonelygirl15. At least I hope thats why.I'm pretty sure thats why because I notice a lot of people with mannerisms from characters from television shows - or the actors, whatever.I know actors get their mannerisms from real people, but I'm not sure how it propagates exactly - I think televison mostly.But what if thats just an illusion and it's all spread like a head cold but through the ears and eyes rather than by the mucus membranes?Its a chilling thought.
Like Lonelygirl15, KateModern will feature interactive elements, allowing fans to post comments, help solve puzzles and upload video responses. The videos typically will run from two to four minutes.The series will not include pre-roll video advertising, but will instead weave product placements into the plot. Lonelygirl15 last month ran its first product placement, including Hershey's Icebreaker's Sours Gum in an episode.Painter? We are talking major "ego involvement" potential.In lay terms, for example, we often speak of people who are "really into golf or who "live to ski" when describing ego involved individuals. High involvement is generally viewed in positive terms in the leisure literature although negative terminology such as "addicted to running" and negative consequences, including excessive participation and spending, have been identified (Bloch, 1990).here
zip's been googling...What if:Floating Mountains Grounded are the Bees-Knees [?]I get a kick out of virtual vs. real, and visa-versa. I like this, Zahn's construction / installation, very much -- windows out to [?] floating [?] mountains [?] grounded [?]. What if the colors are the bees-knees [?]. Constructed canvases are privy to the signal though probably rooted in image-making. What is image-making, I wonder? Play-mating ? Image of self in the greater or lesser scheme of things?http://www.nonobjectifsud.com/fundraiser/michael_zahn.html
A lot of people think I’m Australian and in Australia for some reason (and the two are rarely at home with one another). You don’t want to believe everything you read.That betrays a lack of expertise.Apelles clearly does, and that’s why Jersey’s got the better of him. Jersey got The Sopranos and all Apelles got was the DVDs. That’s what happens when you allow yourself to become hostage to some flawed classicism, that buys the big picture, pays the top dollar, takes the best land in God’s name and wants the king culture, the thousand year empire, by the will of the favorite people, the educated elite, with all the long periods, the trends and the schools, especially the schools.That’s where you learn to ask the old masters, right? Get the gospel good and golden – Obey! Obey! Obey! – You sons and daughters of slaves and slavers – only together can we make the greatest art, worthy of ourselves, and charge the gilded dollar across the universe. Destiny is ours as long as we embrace the chains!But schools are not really the deal Apelles, even in art history. They’re a convenient filing device, but they’re not real dig? They’re these cozy little monasteries like Yale or The Slade, but that’s not real, you know? Mostly you find that out when you leave them. And schools in art history like The New York School or The New Leipzig School or The Birmingham School of Bullshit School actually turn out to be the efforts of just a few individuals, judged by just the efforts of a few individuals. They’re painters who never got round to discussing much anyway, mainly because they weren’t very good at discussion and theory and that, and mostly because painting is not something that takes a lot of talking! It takes a lot of thinking and looking and painting and often you have to take shortcuts and skip the chitty chat, the comforting verbal tags and the whole thing can seem like just a dream, when pushed to explain it especially in someone else’s language, and if you think just The Surrealists own dreaming then you’re dreaming.Explaining is the job of the critic or blogger or whatever we’re calling them now, experts in the hands off, look at me, translate this, that was Cicero or maybe Seneca, but I know my double Dutch when I pour one.So don’t ‘spit the dummy’ about Aussies or Newark or Canadians or Californians. It starts with you and if you can’t do it, others won’t do it for you.As for Aboriginal tribal maps – I wouldn’t know. I don’t have the right blood for that privilege. You know how it is, I’m strictly mongrel, nomad, on the move and on the make; we find what we need, learn only from mistakes.
apelles asks: "Do you think because we are living in a global world where a lot of art is accessible to anyone on the internet, and you can buy any paint or canvas online, that there can exist a group of people outside a major cultural center that can produce art of a consistently better quality than the people that live inside the major cultural center?"If you really believe that art is 'accessible' on the internet, just read the postings above that describe the confusion about this one painting: color, size, structure of the work... none of these is clear from a jpeg photo. We deceive ourselves into accepting what flickers on the screen as reality, but only being in the presence of the real thing is the real thing.As for paint and canvas, consider the work made by accepted 'modern masters' using newspaper and housepaint and you will realize that materials are almost irrelevant.Finally, you almost seem surprised that anyone can LIVE outside a 'major cultural center', much less produce art in those cultural deserts. Yes, surprisingly, they can and they do. And many of those desolate areas actually have airports which allow art pilgrims to flock to the 'big city' to feed on a little real culture. However, these folks often return to their mud huts and continue to make their own versions of art-like items, and many of those items are shipped (using those 'airports') back to the big city to be sold in galleries to those of you who have not realized that in rare cases you too can travel outside the cultural bubble.The answer to you question btw is "No", because quality is always determined locally by those who write and sell.
The cargo cult has been used as an analogy to describe certain phenomena in the developed world, particularly in the area of business. After any substantial commercial success - whether it is a new model of car, a vacuum cleaner, a toy or a motion picture - there typically arise imitators who produce superficial copies of the original, but with none of the substance of the original.The term is also used in the world of computer programming as "cargo cult programming", which describes the ritual inclusion of code which may serve no purpose in the program, but is believed to be a workaround for some software bug, or to be otherwise required for reasons unknown to the programmer .Funny because I think i'm guilty of the latter. I'm trying not to dissolve my ego into dreamtime, its a bit scary to think that anything is possible, and none of it verifiable. thats crazy. But magical thinking, thats where the action is.Do you love Bees?
Mac OS X - I Am the Psychotherapist. Please Describe Your ProblemsGo to finder then applications. Go to the Utilities folder and open Terminal. When it has started up type in "emacs" (without speech marks) and press enter. Then press x and escape together. Then type in "doctor" (again without speech marks.) You can then begin a conversation with your own personal psychotherapist on your computer. (OK so it's not a genius but it's quite interesting.)Dont have a mac, but its an interesting EASTER EGG.In OS X, you can choose between two minimization effects: Genie and Scale. But there is a third effect, called Suck, which you can also use even though it is not available in the system preferences.To use it:1. Open a terminal window.2. Type the following:"defaults write com.apple.dock mineffect -string suck" (no quotation marks)3. For the change to take effect, you need to restart the dock. You can either do this by:Restarting your computer.ORBy opening the Activity Monitor application (should be in Applications > Utilities), finding the Dock application, and forcing it to quit. Once it quits, it will restart automatically.(If you want to go back to either of the other effects, you can just make the change in your system preferences. Or, reuse the line above and replace suck with either genie or scale.)Enjoy!
Mac OS 7.5 - Stickies Picture1. Open a new sticky, one that has nothing on it2. Without messing up, type "Antler!" (without quote marks)What do you seeee!!!!!!!!OMG ROTFL Im running windows 2000Vivre l'histoire.
cross please--quality is determined by those who make and those who buy
this is what you will see I guess.Maybe this stuff is a veiled reference to all the art about antlers. I dont know what antlers are about. I used horns in 1994 and again in 1997. Let the record show! My gos its like an archetype or something.
Lots of artists do the cargo cult thing: Andy's brillo, libby black, tom sachs. I don't know that they lack substance--it's a different substance they are getting toWhen I try to paint a series, I am doing it too.
no rush, as Hemmingway said, isn't it pretty to think so, but those who buy listen intently to those who write about what they should buy. and increasingly, those who make are taught to listen to those who write about what 'should be being made'. and those writers are in nyc. or in las vegas.
People in NY listen to music. Music is the new criticism.Buyers listen to the music.Woah oh oh.Like a lazy flowing riverSurrounding castles in the skyAnd the crowd is growing biggerListnin for the happy soundsAnd I got to let them flyI mean thats what this painting is singing. Not my fucking cup of tea.
do you ever try to copy yourself? anyone? buehler?
Sorry if i offended you old guy, i didn't know you had anything to do with australia. there is some good stuff coming out of autralia, i just can't remember the names of the people i'm thinking of.i'm really just looking for rivalry and competition. Felix gonzalez-torres was competition, but he's dead. So i'm looking for the next best thing if there is such a thing.you said that "it takes a lot of thinking and looking at painting."You should follow your own advice. You should start with looking at the old masters. Then one day you'll know why Gerhard Richter is not canon, the same way that you are positive that Michael Zahn sucks. Then you'll shed your belief that liking anything old is "obeying."
appelles:Thanks for saying this, not just to old guy but in general."Then you'll shed your belief that liking anything old is "obeying."One day, 100 years from now, if humans still exist, they will be sitting around with the same chatter. Who would want to look at the old masters - that may mean Zahn. But who knows what the work will look like then. Art repeats itself and artists learn from other artists. What we have now has come from those old masters. There may not be a hint of it there that you see, but it is inevitable.
Conversely its fine to not like something old. Take Picasso for example. doesnt do much for me now, whatever his place in history. In the present tense it looks like cartooning. Reverign the past is ike idolatry - what baudrillard said about images of the iconolators - it keeps you from thinking about god.If your god is art, them images just get in the way, ina way, right? Make it new. Do it now.Copy yourself.
Never said Zahn sucks.Never said it takes old to obey.Try reading what I write.incidentally:Yeardley Leonard used to do little paintings that had the Popup/Post-it thing about them.Maybe still does
past-present-future--whatever. it's all here now. Might as well address it all.but I'm not the type to keep a lot of windows open on my desktop. it's not that im particularly neat. I just obsessively want to close them.
I use tabs. Its the new thing.I leave every thing oopena and I read everything. Gotta stop that.
I know this show has been roundly promoted in the media, but the work looks lazy to me. Has Zahn been spending so much time staring at the computer screen that he can’t be bothered to think about PAINT, let alone spend any serious time doing it? The biggest influence I see from digital media in this show (and others up right now) is a lack of imagination and patience with the process of painting. Why is everyone in such a hurry? Is it because the art market is so crazy right now… or maybe that we’ve all got our heads wrapped too many times around the computer?
(Sorry to interupt your debate)
old guy: "Try reading what I write."I'm just trying to be like you, man. it's a parody.
er, I mean, sorry to interrupt your argument.
spat? mugging? zipwhacking?
Yes dolphin the show got a lot of talk, spanning many miles across continents-- timely, good premise, or interesting way of putting it -- whatever. It happened.I like a fair bit of the show, and similar to most of the people who are really interested, didn't physically see it. But I probably will in one or more of its follow up incarnations, in one location or another. Michael Zahn comes across a fastidious artist painter with a strong conceptual sense -- capricious, witty, though the work is ever consistent. I think he is painting here.I might be wrong but painting is a little more than flicking a brush though e-quickly sufficient with one flick. 101: When all painting and its varying histories are reflected you get a white painting. 101-a: When the above is absorbed you get a black painting. For those of you who remember Zanni circa 2 millennium. http://www.zanni.org/html/paintings/jpeg%20short%20book/carlo_zanni_2folders.JPG
Witty, sure, but a one liner at best. Oh yeah, sticky notes, with different sizes and colors, painted on canvas! Lots to think about. Stay home--you don't actually need to see it to get it in its entirety. Seeing the work in person isn't really required.
I kind of liked it... object-y & dumb in a good way. very border-straddling.cf Rivane Neuenschwander & this guy.
oh and Painter, great spot on the brooklyn rail's artseen. Great to read your voice finally. Ironically, "Don’t talk, paint"... was Kalm James/James Kalm's opening line. Wise. Congrats.
Kitman's Law states that ordinary drivel is driven out by pure drivel.You have 500+ galleries in NYC. Put up some fucking art, will you. I know it's out there. This isn't a masquerade party. Are u saying this IS the best of the best?
Cross mentioned Kuspits Dialectic of Decadence" - I read the serialization and I came away with a sense of someone defending something from phillistines, the attack of. It was written in 1993.You gotta watch that noise - it can be used as a thinly disguesed argument for bullshit class distinctions. The only truth in that is who gets the Grey Pupon.Another Dude, who died recently, William Dunning - wrote a book "The Roots of Postmodernism", like Kuspit, lives in a sort of echo chamber - as do many academics.In a way its worse than being a Phillistine.this is an interesting bit of folk or outsider art.Why not include it in the discussion?I think I'm "right" in the easter egg deal though. What better interpetation is there than a coded message to computer dorks disguised as high art?Or is that all high art is?
lionized banality. not used to it? in america much of this evolves from edgar bergman's days as famous radio ventriloquist. long list of well-celebrated american no-talents. "thanks for the memories" kind of stuff, you know, think seinfeld show, et al-
bergen I mean, but you knew that.
There are high/low lights on the edges of each individual canvas. On the JCP website the piece is labeled as acrylic on canvas, 4 panels. What sort of canvasses are used? Are they Fredrix canvasses? do the staples on the edges show? do the high/lowlights end at the corner, or are the edges painted? Does the primed white or the unprimed canvas edge separate the face of one canvas from the next? Is it something like this? (http://www.matthewmarks.com/index.php?n=1&a=114&i=1545) These edges are painted, all violet on all black. Haven't seen this, so I'm just curious. How do you rationalize these in real space, from on screen image to object in 4 panels (and considering the high and low lights)? Seems problematic, at least challenging.
zip --What I took from the Kuspit Decadence piece was the tension that exists between passion and intellect (or as he puts it, desire and semiotics) in art.For examples, compare the Lee Lozano hammer with Michael Zahn's pop-ups. Passion versus Signmaking. It's an old battle, but it stays current because it transends the abstract/figurative or new media/traditional media debates. I'll take Kuspit's point that significant advances in art occur when an artist somehow resolves passion with intellect in one body of work. Then that advance is quickly smashed by the resumption of the fight, or as he says, the splitting of the factions once again.
Yeah that sounds about right. I could go back and find a quote - the Neitchze Dionysian vs Appolonian.Quoting philosophers is a popular sport, an appeal to authority.You can say appolonian and dionysian in simple terms - I like "fuck with your mind, think with your penis", a vulgar but cogent critique of Rober Storr.In Lozano I see a desire to be accepted/respected intellectually, as a woman, by part of the Art world - did she feel she was?It looks like her scapegoat was women but really she should have blamed her personal demons within the system or "conspiracy" in Baudrillard's terms. Is art history (the system) necessary to the artist? Not the postmodern one - most (postmodern) artists use a scattershot approach, raiding the past for identities, images or ideas rather than coherent narratives. Its healthier for the creative (rebellious)individual than facing the crushing inexorable totalizing social system with a coherent narrative (which will only be ground to dust by social consensus).The art Kuspit holds up as an example of passion - well sure - whatever, but realy safe (canonized by the market) and five years out of touch with the next generation and the art that helps it engage with the new social reality.In the same way, William Dunning attaches his ideas to artists, who bear little relation to the artists thought process (death of the autor anyone?)here for an example of "schizophrenic" thinking regarding Anselm Kiefer.Note how both Dunning and Kuspit are pretty verbose. Guess they are passionate about writing.I dont know what the new social reality is, but along with the appolonian duality deal - 3) We are dealing here with technology vs. agrarian in its late stages (late modernism). Sir Simon Frazier vs. William Gibson4) Dualities are of course a matter of convenience.
5)When you take your clothes off, you're like, totally naked. Think about it.
Not nice. but true. Du?
circle and mcgroot
Somewhere in the back pages of my mind there was a phrase that ran something like for 'a painting to stand up it should possess the quality of internal necessity'. I take that to mean that it should give the feeling that it needed to be done. Working along those lines Zahn's current work seems barely to have reached the doormat level.
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