Archived Posts from this Category

aligned with the midsummer sunrise?

Posted by justin on 29 Oct 2009 | Tagged as: acquisitions, adventure day, art paparazzi, possibilities, public art, renegade performances, rock!, silliness

Stonehenge in San Antonio, TX

StoneHenge in San Antonio?  When I stopped to take the photograph, the homeowner came to the screen door and told me he was a carpenter. He said,  “if anybody needed any work done, to tell them to stop on by.” The address is 327 Lone Star, San Antonio, TX 78204.  Feel free to check it out for yourself.

Mysteries of San Antonio Street Art : Bikes?

Posted by justin on 31 May 2009 | Tagged as: acquisitions, adventure day, announcements, art + bikes, art paparazzi, borders, opportunities, possibilities

*update (june 08, 09) I ran into Daniel again and he is now claiming that the bikes will be temporarily displayed throughout the city, and locked in place.  He will be showing them soon as an entire group.

Be on the lookout, local artist Daniel Saldana, known most prominently in our community for his unfathomably plated metal objects, has taken to turning his excess metal into art bicycles, and leaving them about town.  I’ve seen them left up at SAMA, and Blue Star now, both times without a camera on my person.  I caught him at Red Dot with his newest creation, this time, chained to the pole outside.  Previous bikes were left to be picked up by lucky takers, and ostensibly this new one, I was told was “not finished,” and would be given a similar fate after completion.  If you have other images of these art bikes in their native habitat, give em up, via our contact form.

Daniel Saldana Art Bike outside of Red Dot event at Blue Star Contemporary Art Center in San Antonio Texas

River Reach sneak peek

Posted by justin on 22 May 2009 | Tagged as: art paparazzi, possibilities, public art

A little collection of photos from our upcoming river reach expansion project here in San Antonio.  I was lucky to be able to go on the official tour with Ben a few weeks back and get a first-hand view of the unfinished project.  There has already been a lot of local press covering the new reach and a blog dedicated to it exclusively on Mysa.com, so we had been notably lax in trying to get our images up online.  We’ll start with the under bridge panel installation by Stuart Allen.  Built of tightly woven metal strips painted in various colors, these panels slightly shimmer and change colors as the viewer walks past them, or floats underneath them by river barge.

Stuart Allen River Expansion Project San Antonio Texas

Continue Reading »

Rew-Shay Head Project

Posted by justin on 22 May 2009 | Tagged as: adventure day, art paparazzi, performance art, possibilities

Nate Cassie gives Jonathan Monk a haircut, prior to the opening of “Rew-Shay Hood Project Part II,” at Artpace.

(photo by Justin Parr)

Nate Cassie gives Jonathan Monk a haircut in the Hudson Showroom

Appropriation of My Demon Brother

Posted by ben on 02 May 2009 | Tagged as: arts organizations, photography, possibilities, responses/reviews

Just back from New York, and I must say I agree with Holland Cotter that it’s enlightening to see the Met’s “The Pictures Generation” show alongside the New Museum’s “The Generational: Younger than Jesus.” I also agree with him that the former is a much stronger and more carefully curated group of work than the latter. But at the same time, I don’t think it’s quite right to say that the “generational parallels are so many as to be worrisome. Has new art come no further than this? Is it still tilling fields all but farmed out in the past?”

Paul McMahon - Untitled (Nixon)

One reason to question this reductive view of current appropriation-driven art is articulated well in an article by Jan Verwoert published a couple of years ago in Art & Research. In it, Verwoert makes a distinction between the appropriation art that was produced in the 1970s and ’80s (see “Untitled (Nixon)” by Paul McMahon above), and another kind of work that emerged in the 1990s. The younger group of artists employ similar strategies as their predecessors, but with different implications. The basic premise is that during the Cold War history had frozen due to a superpower stalemate, and artists such as Robert Longo and Cindy Sherman analyzed culture through the lense of a detachment from history. In the ’90s the movement of history sprang to life again, and the act of appropriation became something more like the act of invocation: “To utter words for the sake of analysis already means to put these words to work. You cannot test a spell. To utter it is to put it into effect.” Artists had to wrestle with the ghosts of the past (a “multiplicity of histories”) as well as the life of the moment, as they dealt with a quickly evolving relationship to history and its connections to the present.

It seems to me that since 2001, this sense of living in a web of histories has only accelerated: from September 11 to Obama, China’s waxing cultural influence to the perpetually imminent collapse of Pakistan, commentators are stumbling over themselves to declare the dawn of new era after new era. It has the urgency of the 1960s, even if the cultural shifts are of a different nature. The ’60s produced a large body of art — both Pop and Conceptual — which resisted metaphor and was later synthesized by the ’70s “pictures generation” artists. But at the same time that this work resisted metaphor, it simultaneously helped open up space for a reinvigoration of metaphor and symbolism, a space that was filled by artists from Kenneth Anger to Martin Luther King (see “” and “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop“). Our moment now is different from the ’60s in many ways, but I think we are seeing a similar opening for a resurgence of the poetic, largely lacking from the artwork of “the pictures generation.”

Cao Fei - Deep Breathing

So while I found the pieces at the New Museum generally stale and incoherent (see “Deep Breathing” by Cao Fei above), it’s not because the artists are simply rehashing  Barbara Kruger or Jack Goldstein. It’s because the artists in the show generally don’t meet the poetic demands of the moment. They’re caught, unable to take the extra-historical viewpoint of their ’70s counterparts, but unwilling to make the poetic commitments of earlier artists. That’s not to say that other young artists aren’t invoking the past with an incantatory symbolization: it’s just not apparent in the vast majority of the pieces in “Younger than Jesus.”

Aaron Curry - Cosmic Knot #2

Aaron Curry’s sculptures and prints (see “Cosmic Knot #2″ above) at Michael Werner wove found material and invocation of modernist artworks together in a way that revealed, in the words of Bruce Hainley, “an artist who wishes to make thrilling rather than pernicious the attempt to wrest from the global barrage something inappropriable, irreducible, and questioning, which acknowledges what comes before it, culturally, and from where it arrives without merely desecrating it.” I sense in Hainley’s words (which come from the catalog for the show) a suggestion of the kind of invocation Verwoert proposes. Curry’s show is a thriller, raising the spectre of modernism dwelling somewhere in the water of our reservoirs — not as a chilling memory, but as a living ghost prepared to inhabit our fields, our livestock, our bodies.

UPDATE: This interview with Bruce High Quality Foundation in Art in America seems too pertinent not to add here. From the discussion of Sept 11 as their “creation myth” to the invocation of multiple histories, there are a lot of parallels between this post and the interview. Although I visited the Bruce High Quality studio during my trip, their recent show had just come down, so I missed their new work both in the gallery and in the studio — otherwise they may have made it into the original post.

Tales from Luminaria Weekend

Posted by justin on 16 Mar 2009 | Tagged as: adventure day, art paparazzi, arts organizations, in yo face, party photos, performance art, possibilities, public art, rock!, silliness

Well, after a good deal of rain, some unexpected cold, and a little bit of worry, Luminaria 2009 turned out to be a really nice night in San Antonio.  Aside from my experience with the overbearing police force (who wanted to tackle me for riding my bike down an empty LONG stretch of closed off road) I found this Luminaria to be much better organized and more satisfying to take part in.  I carried my camera and photographed the projects I was able to come into personal contact with.  Heres a selection of those photos, with my garbled commentary.

Vaago Weiland & Laura Varela on the Alamo, Luminaria 2009

Laura Varela & Vaago Weiland collaborated on the Alamo this year.  Vaago (from Mönchengladbach, Germany) said, in doing research on the Alamo, he kept coming across these photos with tents in the surrounding area.  He was determined to surround the old Mission with 200 tents, however, upon closer inspection of the site was only able to squeeze in 54.  Lauras video projection played alongside Vaagos sculpture, within the top of the Alamo.

Hyperbubble at Luminaria 2009

Hyperbubble was the only real music I stood still and watched an entire set from.  Not for lack of interesting options, but more in awe of the reaction of the crowd to their music.  I heard more than several proclamations of “WHAT IS THIS?” and “THIS is the best band EVER!!” loudly from behind.  I couldn’t have been happier.

Justin Parr Projection at Luminaria 2009

My own piece (shamelessplug) was projected onto this old building(I was told it might have been called the Turner Magika Theatre?) facing out into the Hemisphere park, I showed the current version of my “Portrait of the Artist as a City,” a project I took up as a result of receiving a grant from the Artist Foundation.  The video is made up of a constantly shifting set of over 9000 still photos, and encompasses more little parts of my life than I can begin to explain before losing your attention.

Ansen Seale 100 ft Photograph River

This year, the real showstopper for me was Ansen Seales 100 ft photograph of the San Antonio River.  Contained inside the San Antonio Convention Center, It set the tone for the more conventional “walled,” section of the show.  After talking to Ansen for a few minutes I was able to extract from him that this image was composed of 86,400 individual “slitscans,” made by his own homebuilt digital camera, and weighed in at a whopping 1.2 gigs for the file itself…and I thought trying to get my computer to juggle 9000 still photos at one time was tricky.

Rebecca Dietz seen performing in the Luminaria GOBO

This fantastic ghost image of a dancer is local artist/instructor Rebecca Dietz.  She was one of the roving performance artists, and a recent FL!GHT Gallery featured artist.  I nearly missed her moving by me, and was glad I noticed who it was at the last minute.

John Mata room at Luminaria 2009

John Mata, part of Leslie Raymonds New Media program at UTSA, built a cardboard room and filled it with books and media discussing…New Media.

Judith Cottrell & Gary Smith Luminaria 2009

Judith Cottrell & Gary Smith built this human like glowing form, and scared children for the duration of the night.  I enjoyed watching.

Holly & Bryson Brooks Married with Paintings Luminaria 2009

Holly & Bryson Brooks decided it was best to be “Married with Paintings.” So they walked in at 6 on the dot, started working inside their makeshift studio(replete with audience the entire time), and by the time I rolled around with my camera, they were already at this point within each of their portraits of the other.

Ethel Shipton inside the Dillards Windows Luminaria 2009

Back out on Alamo Street, Ethel Shipton had filled these two store front windows with her characteristic puffed objects, this time being birdhouses.

Kelly O'Connor Luminaria 2009

Kelly O’Connor was just a few windows down.  My camera was having trouble not blowing out the detail in this one.

Victor & Susan Pagona

I stumbled upon this projection by Victor Pagona & his wife Sarah Susan, an artist I’ve heard of for years, but never met in San Antonio.

Leigh Anne Lester window Luminaria 2009

Sadly, I could only get this much of the smaller Leigh Anne Lester window displays without the detail of the sculptures being blown out by the harsh jewelry store lighting.  These window displays will be available for all to see for the next month along Alamo Street.

Michele Monseau across from the Alamo Luminaria 2009

I stumbled over this Michele Monseau projection right across the street from the Alamo, hidden on a side wall.

Just some general Luminaria 2009 Madness

These patterns & lights can give you a general idea of what everything else looked like, that was not affected in some way by an individual artist or group of artists.

Thomas Cummins lightboxes

These two large scale Thomas Cummins Lightboxes, while difficult to do justice with a photograph, were mindblowingly detailed in person.

General Luminaria Madness

Another fine example of the general lighting scheme found that night.  Its almost like that time I had to shoot photos at a certain laser light show..

Jenny Browne Gives away BOOKS

Jenny Browne gave away 4 shopping cartloads and a truck bed full of books, for FREE, as her piece.  It was awesome to see people swarming the truck and carts, trying to get at free books, while Jenny sat on the roof watching & laughing.

Tom Otterness makes an appearance in San Antonio

..and finally to end the weekend, Tom Otterness made an appearance with his newly unveiled(in our locale at least) public art piece, “Makin Hay’,” mentioned a few weeks back here at Emvergeoning.  Some things I’m sorry to say I don’t have good photos of, the first being the EXCELLENT Contemporary Art Month installation by Randy Wallace in the basement of the old Beauty College building on Travis Street.  I shot many photos of it, but none of them quite did it justice.  I was also sad to miss crazy Mel Feldman and his cultural arts Kaleidoscope.  Somehow 1000 artists all in one place on one night is just a LITTLE hard to keep track of.

Calma con La Algebra of Life: Remembering Manny Castillo

Posted by aaron on 14 Jan 2009 | Tagged as: arts organizations, essays, in yo face, music, mustaches, possibilities, public art, r.i.p., rock!, wordy

Unknown artist's rendering of Manny Castillo and Ram

Manuel Diosdado Castillo, Jr. tragically succumbed to lung cancer on January 6th at the age of 40 – a matter of weeks after receiving the diagnosis – leaving behind a remarkable legacy of music, public artwork, of pride in and a powerful sense of responsibility for his beloved Westside San Antonio barrio. Manny was, for nearly twenty years, a singular presence in both the underground music scene in San Antonio (whose spiritual epicenter is marked by the centuries-old live oak tree at his favorite local dive/venue: the legendary, much-missed Tacoland) and in the non-profit community organization he built, originally as an offshoot project of Patti & Rod Radle’s Inner City Development, but which quickly blossomed into San Anto Cultural Arts.

My friendship with Manny goes back to a spontaneous garage rehearsal circa 1991. Marshall Gause and I were fruitlessly waiting at my folks’ house for some now forgotten drummer we wanted to try out, as our last band line-up hadn’t worked out. Marshall suggested trying to get in touch with this guy he had played a couple of times with the year before – they had enjoyed it, but it didn’t go anywhere as Manny soon left for New Orleans to follow Academic Pursuits. Marshall had a hunch he might be back in town now. After a few calls, the hunch was confirmed and we had a drummer on the way.

That first rehearsal (guitar, bass, & drums – singer Terry Brown had to work) immediately revealed an undeniable chemistry between Marshall’s hippy-punk musicologist guitar explorations, my intuitive but rudimentary bass playing (which, lucky for me, sounded better than it had much right to thanks to my chronic music obsession, a plethora of interesting audio exposure at a job selling used records, and especially Marshall’s unpretentious ability to cover for my lack of formal musical knowledge,) and Manny’s balls-out, hit-the-drums-hard-enough-to-break-at-least-one-head-per-session-but-always-dead-on-the-beat style, using complex rhythms even formally trained jazz drummers wouldn’t have the nerve to try. He was, and remains, one of the fastest, most precise drummers I have ever seen (even faster when he was nervous,) augmented by the physical strength to just bash the hell out of his drums – a steamroller cross between John Bonham, Neil Peart, Mitch Mitchell, George Hurley and Elvin Jones. All on a minimal and creaky drum set usually somehow held together with yarn.

That afternoon we quickly bonded musically over our mutual love for Rush, The Plugz, Esteban Jordan, Thin Lizzy and especially The Minutemen. Spontaneous jams we engaged in that day became the basis for numerous songs later fully developed and forming the initial base of our oeuvre (some still included in the set list at the time the band imploded.) In short order, we brought Terry back into the circle, sat around with some Lone Stars or whatever was cheap that day and soon agreed to call ourself El Santo, in homage to the legendary Mexican lucha enmascarada/film star who never lost a match.

Continue Reading »

Virtually a Museum

Posted by thomas-cummins on 13 Jan 2009 | Tagged as: possibilities, responses/reviews

I took the virtual Prado experience on Google Earth today and, overall, I have to say the hype is a little overblown. I flew into Madrid assuming Google would sweep me straight into the museum but was, instead, confronted by 14 masterpieces outside the Museum. I updated to the latest version of Google Earth and attempted to enter the Museum’s entrance like a video game but was still denied. What you do have access to is each of these paintings at an amazing 14,000 megapixels – which means you can see details never before possible to the general public. Sure, it’s definitely fun to float above craquelure but, in the end, this is only useful for a few specialists in the field of art history. What Google is really giving us is a preemptive glimpse of what is yet to come -that the Prado will eventually be virtualized for the benefit of everyone. This won’t take anything away from the museum experience itself but will, rather, enhance it – just as encyclopedias, tourist’s guide books, and postcards did once before. Don’t get me wrong, Google Earth is still awesome and gets better every month but who really won today were the P.R. firms for both Google and the Prado Museum itself. Just as the ‘Mona Lisa’ became even more famous in the mechanical age of reproduction so did the Museum in the virtual age of the internet. Google says they don’t plan on virtualizing other museums but don’t believe them – they won’t be happy until they document and record every frickin’ aura in the universe.

It’s a friendly, friendly world

Posted by ben on 05 Jan 2009 | Tagged as: arts organizations, essays, possibilities, responses/reviews, wordy

Edward Winkleman posted a short essay on Saturday, which, in short, claims that the future of the art world is in fact the present of the art world. Citing Barack Obama, Winkleman ties the conventional wisdom about the impact of the internet on contemporary society to the current diaspora of the art world. While the underlying premise is not particularly new or insightful, it was a point that needed to be made: art world observers still looking for “the next big thing” need to take a deep breath and accept that fragmentation is here to stay; and this is, in fact, “the next big thing.” This isn’t a crisis, it’s just a way of being. Winkleman catalogs the effects our database-driven culture is having on the art scene, from curating to collecting to artmaking, and announces that these ripples will only expand as time marches on. What this means is that those looking for a new style or idea to dominate contemporary art culture will be disappointed. Poststructuralism is here to stay, and we’ve only begun to tap its implications.

Fair enough, but I think there’s another point to made here (which is perhaps just a shift in emphasis). Winkleman’s essay focusses on the anachronism, contrasts, and tension bred by a process that revels in referencing the Old Masters alongside contemporary pop culture, in drawing improbable threads through history. He emphasizes the information gathering, the cataloging, the futile but fascinating battle against being overwhelmed by the shear amount of information available to us.

But I think what’s most interesting about our current moment is the ways in which it potentially frees us from these obsessive chases, and actually opens up space for more genuine personal interactions. That might sound counter-intuitive at first, but the fact that there’s no longer a dominating formal or conceptual framework allows us to experience art on more personal terms. As a society, we may no longer reject certain styles of work as “unserious” — we may be forced to accept abstract expressionism alongside minimalism alongside realism alongside surrealism ad nauseum; but as individuals we are more free to just focus on the work that reaches us, rather than struggling to understand paint splatters because Greenberg told us to. And whatever style happens to appeal to you, whether it’s Mark Bradford, Walt Disney, Johathan Ive, Cecil Taylor, Bernard Leach or Outkast, there’ll be plenty of opportunities to make personal connections with others who care about the objects of your quirky taste. We can be more sincere about art if we allow ourselves to be.

So while Winkleman moves toward the conclusion that “art by concensus” will come into vogue, I’m more interested in how much more habitable the long tail is becoming: there are those of us interested in making the connections between styles and disciplines; and there are those whose myopic focus we leach off of to make our broad connections. For both groups, the world is becoming a , if more fragmented.

pounding geriatric light show vs. noise-sensitive Cuttlefish (Richie Budd, Taryn Simon @ Artpace)

Posted by justin on 11 Nov 2008 | Tagged as: art paparazzi, party photos, performance art, possibilities, responses/reviews, vs.

Heres a short visual account of the opening affair at Artpace last Thursday night.  Richie Budd’s pounding geriatric light show mixed with Taryn Simon’s noise-sensitive Cuttlefish made for an interesting experience..

(Lu Chunsheng’s work, also opened that night, is not pictured).

Richie Budd sculpture at Artpace San Antonio 

Taryn Simon installation at Artpace San Antonio 

(follow the link for more photos and video of Richie Budd sculpture in action)

Continue Reading »

Vietnamese Legalese

Posted by michelle on 23 Sep 2008 | Tagged as: possibilities, silliness

{A brief excerpt from the menu of a local restaurant}


Due to the high cost of supplied foods Siagon Express is obligated asking customers to read this agreement and understand clearly before placing the order. From time to time Saigon Express encountered customers with behavioral discrepancy trying not to pay for the order: By law customers have to pay the order even if they like the food or simply saying cannot consume the food. This trend of behavior raises an extra cost to our operation. It is time such behavior must be put to the hold any tolerance will be faced to the law accordingly and probably will bean to all court costs.


Saigon Express

The Management

A Social Network Too Far

Posted by ben on 20 Aug 2008 | Tagged as: possibilities, silliness

First there was Friendster. Then MySpace. Now Facebook. Next… HoffSpace?

San Antonio in 1886

Posted by justin on 31 May 2008 | Tagged as: cartography, opportunities, possibilities

This thing is fascinating. Hand drawn down to the buggy and carriage on the street – 10 pages of maps of texas cities & towns from the mid-late 1800’s. A service provided free of charge from the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, it’s set up so it’s kind of like you’re surfing on a 100 yr old google map that you can click and zoom on. Also a fun way to see how old the structure you’re living in truly is, my collapsible ceiling house was NOT on the map yet.

Daniel Joseph Martinez – sneek peak @ new Linda Pace Foundation aquisition

Posted by justin on 26 May 2008 | Tagged as: acquisitions, adventure day, art paparazzi, arts organizations, celebrity sightings, possibilities, sneak peeks

Invites have been circulating recently for a reception to mark the opening of the new Linda Pace Foundation offices (adjacent to Pace’s Camp Street residence) that have been quietly renovated over the last year or so.  I noticed on my bike ride to the gallery last week that the big blank wall facing S. Flores had been installed with a new text piece.  After some research, I’m concluding it is one of the new pieces of the Pace collection, mentioned in the reception invite as a Daniel Joseph Martinez.  The invite mentions two new acquisitions for the Foundation, no info as to the other has yet surfaced.

Daniel Joseph Martinez at Linda Pace Foundation office on South Flores in San Antonio TX

Daniel Joseph Martinez from behind the fence on South Flores in San Antonio TX Texas

I got a call from the neighbor that there was a loud noise upstairs.

Posted by justin on 16 Apr 2008 | Tagged as: adventure day, bird flu, in yo face, mustaches, party photos, possibilities, renegade performances

Need to buy a house?

The Day After

Posted by ben on 16 Mar 2008 | Tagged as: arts organizations, possibilities, responses/reviews

I’m still collecting thoughts and reactions from Luminaria, but here’s my initial post-event take on how it all turned out. While a lot of my pre-Luminaria criticisms still stand, I think these problems need to be put into perspective. First of all, I think for most people who made it downtown (and there were a lot of folks out there), the organizational problems were not really apparent. The events flowed well, there was a lot of good energy and big crowds, but it was never difficult to get to where you wanted to be, and there seemed to be plenty of strategically located food and drink stands, port-o-potties, etc. The event planners and promoters did their job, and everyone I talked to seemed to really enjoy the night.

As expected, there was a pretty big range in both the style and the quality of art presented. As I pointed out earlier, I think Luminaria could benefit from more competitive funding opportunities. I’d like to see a process in place that would allow museum-quality artists to create new work specifically for Luminaria — site-specific installations, sculptures, projections, etc. There’s no way this will happen unless a bigger chunk of money is available to participating artists. But I also think Luminaria needs to keep the inclusive feel that was achieved last night. Things felt very open, with the symphony playing across the street from fire dancers and around the corner from an open-mic poetry reading, work by Chuck Ramirez and Katie Pell across the street from student art.

One criticism I made earlier was that the city didn’t try to build on existing, grassroots art events like First Friday or Contemporary Art Month. Last night I realized why this would have been a bad idea. Luminaria is really a different beast from these events, which mostly rely on independent venues to do their own thing, and have very little central organization. But at the same time, these existing art events have a lot of interested parties who would probably feel that the city was hijacking their event. Luminaria needed to start fresh, and put something together that isn’t identified with a singular community, but represents the diverse artistic talents that exist throughout San Antonio. And they also needed to be able to have a strong, central organizational structure that these other events, for the most part, lack.

Overall, I think Luminaria was clearly a successful event, with plenty of room for improvement. Many of San Antonio’s best artists were not represented, but I think people got a good sense of the diversity and energy that exists in San Antonio’s artistic communities. And the city spared no expense on capping it off with a great fireworks display off the roof of the Emily Morgan.

We’ll be posting some photos later this afternoon. Stay tuned…

The Day Before

Posted by ben on 14 Mar 2008 | Tagged as: arts organizations, politics, possibilities, rumors, upcoming events

San Antonio’s Luminaria arts night kicks off tomorrow, and the general sense of discontent in the contemporary arts community seems to be growing. I have talked to several artists who were promised funding, and then told at the last minute that their projects will not be funded, forcing them to drastically scale back their projects and/or scramble for private backing. Then there’s the little problem of scheduling the event during Austin’s SXSW, which tends to soak up a lot of attention. This has led San Antonio’s own newspapers to give Luminaria short shrift in favor of covering the star-studded music festival up I-35.

But the biggest problem is the perceived disconnect between the event planners and the actual artists who could make this festival meaningful. Rather than trying to build on existing, grassroots art events like First Friday, Contemporary Art Month, Art in the Hood, or SMART Fair, the city chose to reinvent the wheel. What’s worse, they don’t seem to be listening to the people who are deeply involved in the day-to-day work that has given San Antonio such a rich variety of artist-run spaces and events.

Naturally, part of the problem is money. Some (including myself) feel that at an event receiving a large chunk of city funding, as well as support from Bank of America, AT&T, Ford, and Valero, the artists themselves could hope for more than a $200 honorarium. If even $10,000 or $20,000 (a small fraction of the budget) was made available on a competitive basis, a number of successful local artists might have thrown their hat into the ring rather than sitting this one out. The talking points coming from City Hall point out that artists will be “paid in exposure” — but then, of course, all the established and semi-established artists who already show their work at good galleries in New York and other art centers have no incentive to participate. And so Luminaria has been engineered to showcase artists desperate for exposure, rather than those who have hit their stride and earned some level of national recognition. This approach sells everyone short, and implicitly sends the signal that Luminaria is not a venue for recognized artists. It also ignores the reality that a lot of art takes money to produce — artists have to invest more than just time and energy to realize an ambitious project.

However, despite all this, a number of talented artists are participating in Luminaria, and if the city can provide basic organizational support, the arts night could turn out to be a valuable venue. While some artists are distancing themselves from what seems more and more like a potential train wreck (from the artist’s perspective), others are throwing their talents into the mix to see what happens. And despite what I’m sure sounds like a pretty negative pre-judgment of Luminaria, I’m really interested to see what happens. I’m sure there will be some successful projects out there tomorrow, and I’m sure the city will provide the basic infrastructure necessary for this kind of event. I’m just worried that it will fall short of the potential, and that many artists will be alienated by the lack of respect for their achievements and the realities of their profession. Check back soon for post-Luminaria reactions.

Sneak Peek – Karen Mahaffey – work in progress at Gallery 4

Posted by justin on 02 Mar 2008 | Tagged as: art paparazzi, possibilities, sneak peeks, upcoming events

Karen Mahaffey works on her new show in Blue Star Gallery 4

I snuck in and got a photo of SA’s Karen Mahaffey working on her new show in Gallery 4 @ Blue Star yesterday. Its opening this coming Thursday March 6, 2008. The usual First Friday festivities will follow the next day.

Toby Kamps (not pictured) visits San Antonio

Posted by justin on 24 Feb 2008 | Tagged as: adventure day, art paparazzi, mustaches, party photos, performance art, possibilities, rumors, silliness, sneak peeks, vs.

Ray Gun & One Man Artist Foundation F.Mondini Ruiz offer a saucy welcome.

(The community gives him a saucy welcome.)

Obama for your Mama

Posted by justin on 17 Feb 2008 | Tagged as: adventure day, announcements, politics, possibilities

(sorry about the political intrusion, folks)

Local artists Cruz Ortiz, Bunnyphonic, Joe De La Cruz and myself spent 3 or 4 hours earlier tonight screening our own Obama campaign signs. We made one for every voter’s personality. Apparently nobody thought Texas was going to be very important in the whole scheme of things, so very few campaign signs have made it down our way yet. Cruz thought it better that we represent in grassroots style for the TV cameras coming through town when he speaks. If you would like one of these, there are more than 70 from tonight alone and plans for more in the next few weeks. Call to get one or to volunteer time or ideas for more. These are 2-sided, hand-screened and can come with a stake.
Obama for President Campaign Signs handmade Screened Cruz Ortiz Bunnyphonic

Jan 19th 2008 – the execution of Hills Snyder – Gallery 68 – Austin, TX (Updated)

Posted by justin on 20 Jan 2008 | Tagged as: adventure day, art paparazzi, celebrity sightings, performance art, possibilities, r.i.p.

exhibit a : Audio from Karen Mahaffy describing the execution.

exhibit b :

Hills Snyder head shot from execution

Hills Snyder seated in execution chair
Row of photos of Hills Snyders Victims

onlookers watch the execution through a window.

onlookers gawk at Hills Snyder while Nate Cassie paints it Black

Hills Snyder sits after execution

coming down soon

black paint covers our view of the Hills Snyder execution

onlookers wondering whats next

head curator nate cassie and arresting officer Chris Sauter leave the bldg

(photos copyright Justin Parr 2008)


exhibit c : futureWorkerGirl reflects on artist as murderer, victim, pimp and ho.

While the paste was still wet…

Posted by justin on 05 Jan 2008 | Tagged as: adventure day, art + bikes, art paparazzi, graffiti, in yo face, possibilities, r.i.p.

(words: Aaron Forland, photos: Justin Parr)

600 N. St. Marys

Who would have thought the day would come when the mighty Emvergeoning machine would get scooped on its home turf by a little-known upstart lowbrow/street art magazine called Juxtapoz?  Not only that, but with photos we took, documenting a one-of-a-kind, one-night-only (thanks to our crack City maintenance crews – good lookin’ out, fellas) extralegal public art installation coordinated and executed by a group calling itself Uniting Artists Through Crime.  Word has it that Scotch! and co-conspirators utilized the awesome networking power of to pull off this small coup.  The diverse international show was mounted (after a false start one week prior) during daytime hours Monday, December 17th on the defunct, boarded-up former haven for the transient on North Saint Marys at Convent, directly across from our beautiful Greyhound Bus Station.  As the press release (which also contained the magic word emerging) stated, the show ran “until the buff,” which, as mentioned, went down the following day.  Fortunately, Fl!ght World Headquarters received a telephone tip late Monday night and we were able to semi-thoroughly document it in the wee morning hours.

Aaron holds flash for Justins camera at 600 N. St. Marys

The show featured the work of artists from four continents, and may be the largest wheatpaste-based collaborative installation ever mounted in Texas.  Standout works came from (Florida), New York City’s stencil-mad Bot, the sociopolitical stylings of (Malaysia), and San Antonio’s own fevered x-acto imagists and .  Other contributing artists included (Califas), Aphro (SA), Bomit (Houston), Chis La Notte (Madrid, España), Dual (Houston), Dwell/Oneunit (NYC), Enosh (Califas), Enos One (SA), Genevieve (SA), (Queensland, Australia), Give Up (Houston), (SA), REPS/EPSR (SA), Washer (DC), Wes (SA) and probably a few others (apologies to anyone left out – I did my best to ID you all.)  Media varied from traditional wheatpaste methods of xeroxed, screened or stenciled paper to hand-painted pieces and even stenciled metal plates.

Street artist Eh? from Malaysia

Here you will find the entirety of Justin’s photos, and here are some supplementary celly snaps I took attempting to show a little more detail.

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sneak peak – the alamo in LED’s? ..possible Luminaria Arts Night project?

Posted by justin on 05 Dec 2007 | Tagged as: art paparazzi, in yo face, possibilities, rumors, sneak peeks

Alamo's San Antonio TX

Alamo, San Antonio Texas The LEDS Color Kinetics

Bill Fitzgibbons (not pictured above) was seen directing the prologue to a rumored Luminaria Arts Night installation today at nightfall.

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