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Put the pigeon among the paintings

Posted by ben on 12 Jul 2009 | Tagged as: bird flu, free food, rumors, silliness

I think I figured out how Chad Dawkins is reviewing all those CAM shows:

In this study, I investigated whether pigeons could be trained to discriminate between paintings that had been judged by humans as either “bad” or “good”. To do this, adult human observers first classified several children’s paintings as either “good” (beautiful) or “bad” (ugly). Using operant conditioning procedures, pigeons were then reinforced for pecking at “good” paintings. After the pigeons learned the discrimination task, they were presented with novel pictures of both “good” and “bad” children’s paintings to test whether they had successfully learned to discriminate between these two stimulus categories. The results showed that pigeons could discriminate novel “good” and “bad” paintings.

This study was published recently in Animal Cognition (hat tip).

ArtBall Sneak Peak

Posted by ben on 11 Jun 2009 | Tagged as: arts organizations, celebrations, rumors, sneak peeks

I’ve been digging around a bit for details about tommorrow’s Artist Foundation fundraiser, the ArtBall (aka aLadaDadaGala). I managed to get ahold of a list of artists in the auction, although I don’t know how complete it is:

Anne Wallace, Ansen Seale, Ben Mata, Bettie Ward, Charlie Morris, Chris Sauter, Cruz Ortiz, Diana Kersey, Ed Saavedra, Enrique Martinez, Franco Mondini-Ruiz, Gary Sweeney, Hills Snyder, Jeremiah Teutsch, Jerry Cabrera, Jessica Halonen, Jim Keller, Joey Fauerso, John Mata, Kelly O’Connor, Ken Little, Kristy Perez, Leigh Anne Lester, Loretta Rey, Louis Vega Trevino, Mark Hogensen, Marlys Dietrick, McKay Otto, Michele Monseau, Peter Zubiate, Richie Budd, Susan Budge, Susan Strauss, Thomas Cummins, Trish Simonite, Dan Borris, Scott Lifshutz

I’ve also heard that there will be a reading from a Dada play (Pere Ubu Ubu Roi??), and a performance by the Saint Lorraine Dance Company.

Two artists in the auction have posted images of their ArtBall pieces on Facebook: Michele Monseau and our own Justin Parr. I also hear that a bicycle custom-painted by Alex Rubio, and a library of signed books by San Antonio authors will be auctioned. I’ll update this post as I hear more…

Justin Parr

Justin Parr

Michele Monseau

Michele Monseau

UPDATE: Here’s Hills Snyder’s contribution to the auction:

Hills Snyder

Hills Snyder

SNEAK PREVIEW – Tom Otterness “Makin’ Hay” in San Antonio

Posted by justin on 02 Mar 2009 | Tagged as: adventure day, art paparazzi, opportunities, public art, rumors

After going through my old emails last night, Ed Saavedra and I realized that one of the press releases that had somehow slipped through the cracks was for a 2 year San Antonio exhibition by Tom Otterness (known to me because of his hard-to-miss 14th St Subway installation in NYC.)  “MakinHay” is down on the Southside in one of my favorite empty fields next to the San Antonio River/Mission Trail, and near Mission San Juan.  The release states that the piece will be unveiled on March 15, 2009.  I called up a few folks this morning and heard that he had already been in town and that it was close to, if not fully, installed.  Here are a few photos of what I saw when I got down there:

Tom Otterness Makin' Hay in San Antonio, TX

Tom Otterness Makin' Hay in San Antonio, TX

Tom Otterness Makin' Hay in San Antonio, TX

Tom Otterness Makin' Hay in San Antonio, TX

mystery public aqualung?

Posted by justin on 05 Jun 2008 | Tagged as: acquisitions, adventure day, art + bikes, art paparazzi, design, in yo face, rumors, silliness

public art? aqualung? pigeon coop? design by committee? I’m trying to get a good angle on it, but nobody seems to know ANYTHING about these. Pictured below, I’ve spent the last 2 months asking people “in the know,” if they know of, or have seen these objects, to no avail. Do you know anything about these giant acrylic hollow boxes, sheathed in metal and bathroom tile on the fore-front of our walk through downtown to the Alamodome? I’m not sure of the exact install date, but I have seen them unchanged in their current condition since the 2 weeks preceding the Final Four basketball games that gripped downtown San Antonio for a week. Possibly its unfinished? ..or maybe I just don’t get it.
blue box at the dome ugly san antonio

(more images by clicking below)
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Details on Pace Museum Trickle Out

Posted by ben on 31 May 2008 | Tagged as: acquisitions, announcements, arts organizations, design, rumors, sneak peeks

Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver

A few days ago Dan Goddard posted some interesting details on the museum that will house the contemporary art collection of Linda Pace:

By this fall, the foundation expects to select a site in San Antonio for the construction of a permanent home for Pace’s contemporary art collection, including works by Willem de Kooning, Olafur Eliasson, Isaac Julien, Richard Tuttle and Rachel Whiteread. British architect David Adjaye, who designed the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, is working on the project.

Some are anticipating that the museum, when completed, will be as important as the Menil in Houston (we’ll see…). Adjaye has already created a model for the museum which was sort of viewable through the glass of a locked office door in the Linda Pace Foundation offices during an event last night. I just caught a quick glimpse, but the model seemed less boxy than some of Adjaye’s more well-known projects, such as the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver (above).

An exhibit of Adjaye’s work will be traveling to the Hudson (Show)Room at Artpace in September. The show, organized by London’s Whitechapel Art Gallery, is called “Making Public Buildings” (a catalog is ). As usual with Hudson shows, Adjaye will be giving a walk-through at the opening on September 11. In addition to high-end London homes and public buildings such as museums and libraries, Adjaye has collaborated with artists Olafur Eliasson (see here) and Chris Ofili (see here) on projects that blur the line between visual art and architecture. Adjaye’s buildings are noted for their experiential sensitivity and their ability to respond to the surrounding environment.

We’ll give you more details as we get them…

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.

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.)

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.