Mysteries of San Antonio Street Art, Part 5 or so.

Posted by aaron on September 5, 10:46 pm | Category: graffiti, public art

I spotted these repetitively-installed images next to the new Eagleland pedestrian bridge on the south side of the river while strolling with my old friend Charles on Friday afternoon. There are a total of three panels as seen in Exhibit 1. Exhibit 2 shows a slightly closer-up view (they are a mounted a good ways above human height) of one of the identical three. They appear to depict a “homeless” or “transient” individual at rest next to his trusty grocery bag, but hey, for all I know it’s the head of the San Antonio Tea Party sitting down to enjoy his petit fours. [Note: if you choose to visit the aforelinked patriots, please pay special attention to their remarkable logo, which I have to thank Mme. Tricia Llanes for pointing out to me.] On consulting with Justin we both see a Scotch!-like cleanness to the work, but neither of us is willing to make a positive ID. They were executed on wooden cabinet doors, possibly with spray paint/stencil or silkscreen methods, and mounting technology appears to consist of white zip ties.

Update 09.08.10 01:41 am: Evidently, the storms of recent days have torn away the upper panel. After some reconnaissance of the area, with no sign of the missing panel (the base of the structure is overgrown with vines of alien origin,) we retreated from further exploration due to federal and state legal statutes regarding trespassing.

Artist Foundation 2010 Application

Posted by thomas-cummins on September 2, 3:43 pm | Category: uncategorized

The Artist Foundation of San Antonio is now accepting applications for the 2010 grants. Please get your application in here by October 15th 11:59p.m.

An Application Workshop will be held Saturday, October 2nd at Trinity University from 10am-1pm at Trinity University in the Dicke Art Building room #206 (the Digital Art Studio).

“Parthenogenesis”: Sarah Stevens at Dougherty Arts Center, Austin

Posted by aaron on July 21, 11:48 pm | Category: art paparazzi, coverage

“Ascorbic acid is needed for a variety of biosynthetic pathways, by accelerating hydroxylation and amidation reactions. In the synthesis of collagen, ascorbic acid is required as a cofactor for prolyl hydroxylase and lysyl hydroxylase. These two enzymes are responsible for the hydroxylation of the proline and lysine amino acids in collagen. Hydroxyproline and hydroxylysine are important for stabilizing collagen by cross-linking the propeptides in collagen. Defective collagen fibrillogenesis impairs wound healing. Collagen is also an important part of bone, so bone formation is also affected. Defective connective tissue also leads to fragile capillaries, resulting in abnormal bleeding.” – on scurvy

A gallery of images from Austin-based artist ‘ current exhibit at the City of Austin’s Dougherty Arts Center. The Julia C. Butridge Gallery is one long space, and Stevens has loosely divided her show into two parts, one side mostly consisting of drawings and wall-mounted constructions, while the other is largely filled with freestanding constructions/conglomerations of mixed media (all kinds of textiles from yarn to cut-up upholstery, plastic beads, duct tape, ink-on-vellum “lichen” and more,) with the entryway providing a neutral buffer between. She achieves an unforced balance, and the sculptures on the east side of the gallery particularly benefit from their grouping together. The work on view shows the increasing coherence in Stevens’ last few years of intuitive exploration of reproduction, sexuality (and asexuality,) domesticity, and their entanglements with our culture of consumption – an instantly recognizable body of work, with boundaries between her earlier delicately compulsive ink drawings and garishly colored, sprawlingly anatomical and slightly grotesque sculptures increasingly being blurred and in some cases now erased.

On view through July 29th in the Julia C. Butridge Gallery at Dougherty Arts Center – 1110 Barton Springs Road, Austin, Texas.

Which One’s Oscar?

Posted by aaron on July 18, 9:21 pm | Category: art paparazzi, conceptual art, coverage, image & sound, performance art, politics, sound art, video/film

Our own correspondent is sorry to tell
Of an uneasy time that all is not well
On the borders there’s movement
In the hills there is trouble
Food is short, crime is double
Prices have risen since the government fell
Casualties increase as the enemy shell
The climate’s unhealthy, flies and rats thrive
And sooner or later the end will arrive
This is your correspondent, running out of tape
Gunfire’s increasing, looting, burning, rape

– Wire, “Reuters”, 1977.

Seeing an art show at a nightclub has its drawbacks, but one thing I took away from seeing the one-night only six-man show Oscar Mike at was the idea that more galleries should paint the walls black. With proper lighting, it can be a natural neutral framing device which highlights the work and renders negative space somehow richer.

The line-up of the show drew me out of what has become, in my advanced years, a somewhat habitual avoidance of loud and smoky music clubs (note to San Antonio: in NYC, the smoking ban in bars seems not to have had any effect on the level of trade and sure makes it more comfortable for everyone, smokers included.) San Antonio-based artists Albert Alvarez, Jimmy Canales, the brothers Ruben and Rigoberto Luna, Miguel Nelson, and part-time Angeleno Vincent Valdez came together after the experience the first four had of putting together the possibly-someday-to-be-considered-seminal group exhibit Techjano/a: Hybrid Logic this spring at el Museo Alameda. The germ of the idea for this new show came from Valdez and developed after Rigo Luna introduced him to brother Ruben (who had curated the Alameda show.) A fast friendship and evidently an effective creative alliance was quickly formed, although Rigo is quick to point out that “Oscar Mike is a show, not a collective.”

The basis for the work in the show is the participants’ shared boyhood love for the 80’s iteration of G.I. Joe. A running theme of the youthful acceptance of the glamorization of war represented by the action figures, comic book and cartoon series – one of the early pioneering brands which synergized toys and media in an attempt to saturate children’s imagination and desire – is contrasted with the now-adult artists’ deeper understanding of the full ramifications of organized violence, and their rejection of the pop culture romanticization of the warrior myth.

Addendum: Scuttlebutt amongst the dogfaces says they may re-stage in a new theatre of operations. Waiting on word from the top brass back at HQ.

“This work starts from zero”

Posted by ben on June 19, 11:50 pm | Category: interviews, poetry

I still think that this empty space is very basic and very important. If you have something that’s already been decided on you don’t find anything different. What we did was to organize empty spaces in other empty spaces and from there leading to further empty spaces. Organization is not about filling things, but about emptying things. When you speak about offices, I remember how, in the beginning, we had one cell. This cell was divided into two parts because that’s the only way to have a body. You have to divide a cell, not to accumulate but to put less inside and to have more void. Otherwise everything is full. We need to find space between things.
I recognized this with my work with division and multiplication of the mirror. This work starts from zero and that zero is the mirror. Zero representation means at the same time total representation. When I divide zero I have 1 + 1. From zero I pass immediately to 2. You don’t have 1. The only time it is alone is zero. From zero you have 1 + 1 and this is the base. The two mirrors reflect each other and then you have 3, and the more you close the angle the more you have a super division, a super participation of multiplication. But multiplication is the consequence of an act of division. You don’t start with multiplication you start with the division of zero. You cannot have zero + zero + zero, instead you have to multiply. This is the idea of emptiness of the mirror as the reflection of everything which creates a third and fourth mirror, just like a cell dividing. The multiplication of physicality occurs through the division of cells.

Divisione e moltiplicazione dello specchio (MIchelangelo Pistoletto)

I still think that this empty space is very basic and very important. If you have something that’s already been decided on you don’t find anything different. What we did was to organize empty spaces in other empty spaces and from there leading to further empty spaces. Organization is not about filling things, but about emptying things. When you speak about offices, I remember how, in the beginning, we had one cell. This cell was divided into two parts because that’s the only way to have a body. You have to divide a cell, not to accumulate but to put less inside and to have more void. Otherwise everything is full. We need to find space between things.

I recognized this with my work with division and multiplication of the mirror. This work starts from zero and that zero is the mirror. Zero representation means at the same time total representation. When I divide zero I have 1 + 1. From zero I pass immediately to 2. You don’t have 1. The only time it is alone is zero. From zero you have 1 + 1 and this is the base. The two mirrors reflect each other and then you have 3, and the more you close the angle the more you have a super division, a super participation of multiplication. But multiplication is the consequence of an act of division. You don’t start with multiplication you start with the division of zero. You cannot have zero + zero + zero, instead you have to multiply. This is the idea of emptiness of the mirror as the reflection of everything which creates a third and fourth mirror, just like a cell dividing. The multiplication of physicality occurs through the division of cells.

- Michelangelo Pistoletto (from a conversation with Clémentine Deliss in Dot Dot Dot #18)

Speech Object (updated)

Posted by ben on June 18, 9:50 am | Category: conceptual art, performance art

Greg Allen, one of my favorite art bloggers, has a recent post up about Ian Wilson, whose art consists entirely of oral discussions (at least for a certain period of time it did; later he published books, among other things). Allen quotes from a catalogue describing Wilson’s “search for an art in which no evidence of physicality would intrude.” I thought this was an odd thing to say about oral communication. I don’t know if this is the kind of language Ian Wilson himself would use to describe his work*, but it reminds me of this passage from the introduction to a book on sociolinguistics I picked up recently (Asif Agha’s ““):

If human beings are artifact makers, the artifacts they most readily make are enacted representations, including utterances and discourses. As individuals, we do this countless times a day and think nothing of it; but those patterns of individual activity that we call institutions to it in a more complex, sometimes puzzling way, and often with far greater consequence. It is therefore all the more important to see that utterances and discourses are themselves material objects made through human activity — made, in a physical sense, out of vibrating columns of air, ink on paper, pixels in electronic media — which exercise real effects upon our senses, minds, and modes of social organization, and to learn to understand and analyze these effects. It is true that that utterances and discourses are artifacts of a more or less evanescent kind (speech more than writing). But these are questions of duration, not materiality, and certainly not of degree or kind of cultural consequence…. I reject the privileged status typically accorded in contemporary discussions of materiality to the narrow special case of durable objects. Such an emphasis, which fixates on the physical persistence of the durable object, obscures the processes through which its sign-values emerge or change. Last year’s hat doesn’t make the same fashion statement this year. It’s the same hat. Or is it? Everyone agrees that fleeting signs (such as spoken utterances and gestures) acquire contextual significance from their more durable physical setting. It remains to be seen that the semiotic values of durable objects (the kinds of things one can put on the mantle-piece, or trip over in the dark) are illuminated for their users by the discourses that appear evanescent even when their effects are not.

So, without knowing the intentions of Ian Wilson himself, one would wonder whether his work is an attempt to remove the physicality from art, or to make more apparent the physicality of spoken language. I think the latter interpretation has many more interesting implications than the former.

* UPDATE: After posting this, I found a panel conversation printed in Lucy Lippard’s “” in which Wilson describes his approach rather succinctly:

I certainly am not a poet. I’m a very bad writer; probably that’s why I’m talking about oral communication. I’m not a poet and I’m considering oral communication as a sculpture. Because, as I said, if you take a cube someone has said you imagine the other side because it’s so simple. And you can take the idea further by by saying you can imagine the whole thing without its physical presence. So now immediately you’ve transcended the idea of an object that was a cube into a word without a physical presence. And you still have the essential features of the object at your disposal.

Isn’t it incredibly strange, in a sense, that Wilson considers the oral communication as a sculpture, and yet still denies its physicality without blinking? But then if I hadn’t just been reading Agha, I probably wouldn’t have given it a second thought.

Linda Pace Foundation snags Dia:Beacon director

Posted by ben on June 13, 3:33 pm | Category: announcements, arts organizations

Linda Pace Foundation announced that it has named Steven Evans, who currently serves as Dia:Beacon’s managing director, as its new executive director and curator. The foundation primarily manages the collection of Linda Pace, the late founder of Artpace San Antonio. It has been planning to build a David Adjaye-designed museum to house the collection, and also runs CHRISpark, commissions new works, and supports Artpace. Evans’ management could have a major impact on the San Antonio art community, especially if he is able to bring the museum project to completion.

Although Linda Pace Foundation and Artpace are separate entities, they are politically and financially intertwined, so the naming of a new director at Linda Pace Foundation could impact Artpace in a number of ways, although I wouldn’t expect the relationship between the two organizations to change in any fundamental way.

For those who aren’t familiar with it, Dia:Beacon is considered to be among the best collections of contemporary art in the world. It focusses on displaying large installations of major works by a relatively small number of artists, prioritizing depth over breadth.

Out and About

Posted by ben on June 9, 5:05 pm | Category: announcements, interviews, links, music

Since it seems people are still visiting Emvergeoning looking for new posts, I thought I’d mention that the site is mostly on hiatus (but props to Thomas for keeping the event listings updated, it’s a lot of work), although we’ve all been busy with other projects in other venues. A few of my own pieces from the last few months are linked below:

  • My interview with Emily Morrison about her New Orleans gallery Trouser House was featured in Art Lies #65
  • Also in Art Lies, a review of the last round of residencies at Artpace (artists included Buster Graybill, Klara Liden and Ulrike Müller)
  • I did an interview with Barbara Ras about her newest volume of poetry, The Last Skin, that was published in the San Antonio Current
  • I went out to West Texas to see a concert by John Butcher and Joe McPhee at The Hill, and wrote about it for Glasstire (focussing on Jim Magee’s artwork) and Signal to Noise (focussing on the music) — the Glasstire article is here; the Signal to Noise article is print-only, and the magazine will be available this week
  • Most recently, I reviewed Good and Well at David Shelton Gallery for the San Antonio Current
  • Next week, my review of another Artpace show, On the Road (curated by Jens Hoffmann), comes out in the San Antonio Current as well (update: this review is now available here)

ArtPace Travel Grant

Posted by thomas-cummins on April 7, 12:28 pm | Category: opportunities

The ArtPace Travel Grant applications is now available. In an effort to foster the growth and vision of an artist’s career and encourage an ongoing dialogue between local and international art communities, Artpace is pleased to announce a call for Travel Grant applications through online submissions. The Travel Grant opportunity is only available to those artists currently working and living in Bexar County. For more information, and to download the application, visit  Deadline is Friday, April 30 at 5pm.

CAM Calendar

Posted by thomas-cummins on February 17, 9:47 pm | Category: announcements

I’ll try to put up some of the openings coming up next month but check out the official CAM site for a comprehensive calendar.

Kimbell with Snow

Posted by ben on February 13, 5:33 pm | Category: adventure day, architecture, ice

Kimbell with Snow

Familiar Unknown (see it before it closes)

Posted by ben on February 10, 6:46 pm | Category: ceramics, responses/reviews

The best show Blue Star has mounted since Lonely Are the Brave is closing this Saturday, and it’s well worth checking out on your way to Second Saturday down the street on S Flores. Familiar Unknown: Contemporary Ceramics takes advantage of Blue Star’s large main exhibition spaces to highlight four women working at the forefront of clay art. It’s another example of ceramics becoming an increasingly visible medium in the San Antonio contemporary gallery scene, something I hope to cover more soon. Curated by Ovidio Giberga, an accomplished ceramic artist in his own right, and director of UTSA’s ceramics program, the show is full of strong work, installed impeccably.

Anne Drew Potter’s disfigured characters laugh and scowl devilishly in installations that are both spare and overflowing with heavily wrought emotion. Three bulbous women direct their menacing gazes at a frail, limp rabbit doll in “The Judgment of Br’er Rabbit.” A large yellow baby glazed in dense, bright yellow (which I’m told is a reference to Chinese glazes) delights in the misfortune of a large cloth baby who has tumped over. Across the gallery, another pair vaguely mirror these poses: a young, naked girl ecstatic lifts her arms above her as she stands over a young, naked boy fallen back on his elbows, gazing up.

Anne Drew Potter: The Judgment of Br'er Rabbit

Anne Drew Potter: The Judgment of Br'er Rabbit

Anne Drew Potter: Big Baby

Anne Drew Potter: Big Baby

In the middle of the triangle formed by Potter’s works, an installation by Rebbeca Hutchinson strikes a counterpoint of humble, organic engineering. Apparently built from materials collected on-site, Hutchinson’s spindly sticks with nest-like forms built of paper and clay are scattered sparsely through the space. I feel like I could do a better job describing them if I only knew Japanese, but there’s definitely a healthy dose of wabi in this installation. From the literature, it sounds as if these pieces are destroyed after the exhibit, so I’ll say it again: see this show before it disappears.

Rebecca Hutchinson Installation

Rebecca Hutchinson Installation

Rebecca Hutchinson Installation

Rebecca Hutchinson Installation

The last installation in the main gallery draws another contrast, with Susan Beiner’s baroque composition of imaginary flowers and and man-made detritus (both exquisitely rendered in porcelain), the only piece that actually hangs on the wall. At first this assemblage appears to consist entirely of flowers and other organic forms, but a close look reveals bolts, pieces of furniture or anonymous industrial objects strewn throughout. Nearby, the flowers growing from the gallery floor make porcelain, foam, and polyfil seem like a most natural combination of materials.

Susan Beiner: Synthetic Stems & Synthetic Reality

Susan Beiner: Synthetic Stems & Synthetic Reality

Susan Beiner: Synthetic Stems & Synthetic Reality

Susan Beiner: Synthetic Stems & Synthetic Reality

Finally, in an adjacent space Blue Star calls the middle gallery, Rebekah Bogard has installed a fantasy world that takes some cues from CGI children’s movies, but sexualizes the characters just a touch. Bright colors and incredibly smooth glazes produce an exhibit that hardly seems ceramic at all. In the artist’s statement, and some other reviews of her work, references to a darkness lurking beneath the candy surface are ubiquitous, but as much as I tried I can’t see it in this installation. It seems very sweet and fluffy to me. Either the artist has moved away from the dark side to some degree, or I’m being naive; judge for yourself.

Rebekah Bogard Installation

Rebekah Bogard Installation

Rebekah Bogard Installation

Rebekah Bogard Installation

Image vs Language: Language is not Transparent

Posted by ben on January 8, 11:20 am | Category: conceptual art, video/film, vs., wordy

Conway’s Game of Life translated into one line of APL.

Rules of Inference (Mel Bochner)

“Rules of Inference” by Mel Bochner

Jack Rose

Posted by ben on December 7, 1:31 pm | Category: music, r.i.p., rock!

Rest in peace, Jack Rose.

Rocket Scientist

Posted by jason + leslie on November 23, 11:24 pm | Category: interviews

For the third and final installment of our interview series with San Antonio art luminaries (see previous interviews, Easy Rider and Prodigal Son), we spoke with Anjali Gupta, executive director and editor-in-chief of Art Lies contemporary art quarterly. If it hasn’t been angelic qualities that have fueled this woman’s meteoric rise through the Nebula of Texan Art, than it has been her dogged work ethic, keen sense of telemetry, her concentrated gravity, and her superhuman ability to detect faint wisps of bullshit. She cannot hide her roots–tracking them all over the house on her boots–Gupta is a seasoned DIY commando, a builder of community and an emissary for that community cosmos-wide. We sat with her at our home and hers, both on San Antonio’s southside.


You were one of the driving forces behind the legendary Wong Spot in San Antonio. Tell us a little bit about the Wong days.

The Wong Spot began in a lovely building on South Flores, the old Wong’s Grocery Store, just a few months after I relocated here from Austin. Initially, it was a co-op consisting of artists James Cobb, Alex Rubio, Regis Shephard, Gary Sweeney and my ex-partner, Robert Tatum. At the time, I still had a somewhat regular studio practice, but my role was primarily what it always ends up being: the enabler. I dealt with logistics. Don’t get me wrong—it was a blast—and through Robert’s existing contacts in the San Antonio art community, it was wildly popular. We were also fortunate enough to be spitting distance from Jesse Amado and Chuck Ramirez’ studios, as well as Franco Mondini-Ruiz’ botanica. Such proximity fostered a certain synergy still prominent and strategically successful in the San Antonio visual arts community, Unit B and Sala Diaz being perfect examples.

We did everything on a shoestring. It was truly a community effort. When we relocated to East Commerce, however, it became an all-out business venture: a full kitchen, bar and a staff of 14 in a 10,000 square foot space. We staged weekly mini shows, monthly gallery shows, weekly film screenings and music five nights a week. (Did I mention that I was also running a video postproduction house out of the same building during the day?) It was a veritable circus, and ultimately—sans trust fund—sadly and inevitably unsustainable. But we didn’t really learn our lesson. Robert and I moved on to a series of smaller endeavors including Ellis Bean (which I quickly backed out of due to the, um, idiocy factor), The Honey Factory and 811 on Guadalupe and, finally, booking and curating the Wiggle Room for a spell. During this period, I survived on freelance writing gigs, graphic design jobs, gardening on the Riverwalk and producing videos, primarily for artists-in-residence at Artpace. I then woke up one day and consciously opted for a career instead of a series of really expensive and exhausting hobbies. Ten years, two paragraphs. Whew.

As somebody who grew up in Texas but has branched out, how has your opinion of the Texas art scene changed?

Actually, I spent half my formative years on the East Coast. I’m also a first generation American, which certainly shaped my psyche much more than being a “Texan.” My interest in the arts began as child (I was a fairly talented painter and my parents encouraged this), was fostered by my sister in my teens (she is an art historian and curator), by studying abroad in Germany and by my previous incarnation as an ethnographic filmmaker, which landed me in San Francisco in the early 90s working for Survival Research Labs.

That said, I have lived in Spring (just outside of Houston), Dallas, Austin and now San Antonio. Clearly, there is a distinct timbre in each of these cities and, by extension, a “Texas art scene.”

From your idiosyncratic perspective, is it all piñatas and cowpokes, or is there hope for other Texas art outside of Texas?

Mmmmk. At least you didn’t say scatological.

I assume by “hope” you mean an audience, and furthermore, success. My question to you is what yardstick do you, as an artist, use to measure success? Mine stick is qualitative, not quantitative. It is made in Texas out of imported wood and yes, it can beat the crap out of your piñata.

Have you seen any New Media artwork lately that has had an impact on you?

Sure. Some enchanting and some disappointing, which is to be expected no matter what the media.

Prove that you’re telling the truth, and name one. And tell us where you saw it and what made it stand out from all the other sermons you’ve heard in the last year.

Miguel Angel Rios’ 2008 video series White Suit, Crudo and Matambre comes to mind. I first saw them in person at the 2009 Armory Show, which was the perfect venue for this work—a hands down smack down—a balls out parody of the art industry. What makes this work stand out is that is not a sermon at all. I like art on the secular side of the spectrum. I don’t like to be preached at.

What is the difference between contemporary art and art made contemporaneously?


If you’re lining your eyeballs up with the fine line that separates the two, what can you see on either side?

Shit/Shinola. Please see David Robbins’ Brie Popcorn in Art Lies 52.

Do you ever get too much art?

If I do, it is probably time for a career change.

How do you cope?

I don’t. I allow myself the latitude to act out with impunity.

So, despite rumors, there are no outstanding warrants for your arrest?

I didn’t say that.

How can artists be productive members of society outside of the art world?

That is reductive. The art world is an imaginary space.

There are a lot of people going into debt pursuing degrees to prepare themselves for that imaginary space.

The industry of the MFA is problematic any way you look at it. I know plenty of smart, talented artists (and curators and art historians) with advanced degrees working multiple unpaid internships and/or bartending, driving cabs, stripping, walking dogs for cash, etc. This is nothing new. Spillage is normal and healthy. The very idea that a degree is somehow an automatic direct flight ticket to see the wizard is a very strange fallacy—one quite obviously reinforced in the labyrinths of our upper learning institutions. People coming out of prestigious MFA programs are simply not prepared for rejection, and let’s face it, even rejection has to be earned. Perhaps the idea of a PHD in studio art is a temporary solution to your question. That way, by the time these kids get out of school, they will be totally incapable of dealing with the real world and well prepared for the comforting and insular interior of a padded cell.

How did the economic crisis impact artists and the art industry?

How did it or how is it? We’re all still pretty fucked, top to bottom, coast to coast. Anyone who says differently is trying to sell you a self-help seminar. Funding freezes. Hiring freezes. Layoffs. Cutbacks. Ad budgets slashes. Programming halts. Tenure track position cuts. Gallery closures—I could go on, but the bottom line is now is the time to get creative. Collaborate. Pool resources.


The Death of Structuralism

Posted by thomas-cummins on November 4, 3:28 pm | Category: r.i.p.

The Structuralist's Lunch Party - (from left to right) Foucault, Lacan, Levi-Strauss, and Barthes.

(from left to right) Foucault, Lacan, Levi-Strauss, and Barthes.

The recent passing of Claude Levi-Strauss (1908-2009) marks the end of an era as he was the last of the four great Structuralists (and Post-Structuralists) represented in the infamous cartoon “The Structuralists’ Lunch Party.” At a 100 years old, he outlived Foucault, Lacan, Barthes, and even the Deconstruction of Derrida.

aligned with the midsummer sunrise?

Posted by justin on October 29, 12:30 pm | Category: 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.

Henry Rayburn’s Art Estate Sale

Posted by thomas-cummins on October 24, 12:19 am | Category: r.i.p., sneak peeks

With the busy weekend, you don’t necessarily have to go to Rayburn’s 1312 Wyoming studio to add some of his art to your collection. Instead, you can peruse the artworks at this website and then email your bid to . Just be sure to get your bid in before 4:30 p.m. this Sunday afternoon.

Busy Weekend

Posted by ben on October 22, 3:18 pm | Category: art + bikes, arts organizations, celebrations, conceptual art, free food, graffiti, public art

This is a little reminder of some of the art events on this busy weekend.

  • Mel Bochner is showing recent work at Lawrence Markey gallery on Friday night, 5-7 pm.
  • For those of you who dig theory, the Land Heritage Institute is hosting an art-sci symposium, “The Nature of Place,” full of important thinkers, from Lucy Lippard, Sandy Stone, and Joan Jonas to Anjali Gupta (editor / director of Art Lies) and Leslie Raymond (head of the New Media Program at UTSA and one half of Potter-Belmar Labs). This is on Saturday & Sunday. It’s free, but you have to register.
  • For some more family-oriented fun on Saturday, check out the Blue Star Contemporary Art Center’s Family Day, with free workshops, demonstrations, food, drink, and live music. There’s even a bike rodeo and free silk screening if you bring your bike & t-shirts!
  • Saturday night the Martinez Street Women’s Center is having a fundraiser at Artpace called the Bling-Bling Fling. Should be a blast. Tickets are $25.
  • The street art festival Clogged Caps is going on all day Saturday, with top-notch aerosol artists & DJs.

Don’t miss any of this stuff! Seriously!

On, Of, or About

Posted by ben on October 17, 2:04 pm | Category: announcements, links

Justin Quinn: Moby Dick Chapter 54 or 13, 879 times E (detail)

Justin Quinn: Moby Dick Chapter 54 or 13, 879 times E (detail)

A little over a week ago I posted on Glasstire about a show of paper works up at Texas State University. It’s really worth checking out if you are in San Marcos (or driving through). The show closes this coming Thursday (the 22nd). Read the review and drop by.

Ansen Seale at Land Heritage Institute

Posted by ben on September 21, 2:15 pm | Category: adventure day, arts organizations, photography, responses/reviews

I just posted my take on the Ansen Seale installation mounted by the Land Heritage Institute over at Glasstire. LHI is positioning itself at the intersection of a number of different issues and movements, potentially functioning simultaneously as a park, an educational resource, an equestrian center, an advocacy group, a think tank and an art center. It should be interesting to watch how the whole thing plays out — the series of events that led it to where it is today has not exactly been predictable, and I doubt its future development will be either. In any case, I’m looking forward to LHI’s “art-sci symposium” The Nature of Place next month. With participants like Sandy Stone, Lucy Lippard, Erik Knutzen from the Center for Land Use Interpretation, and Anjali Gupta from Art Lies, it should be interesting to say the least. We’ll keep you posted.


Posted by thomas-cummins on September 20, 11:42 pm | Category: opportunities

San Antonio artists – applications for LUMINARIA 2010 are now available at Last year, artists uploaded their applications on-line but this year the Luminaria committee opted for the more traditional mail-in/drop-off application.

Art21 5th Season

Posted by thomas-cummins on September 19, 7:50 pm | Category: interviews, sneak peeks, tv

Art21 returns this October with its 5th season which will premiere on KLRN on Wednesday, October 7 at 10:00 p.m. Being publicly funded, PBS has had some problems, in the past, creating shows about art and often supported kitsch values – as seen most evidently in the show ‘The Joy of Painting’ which was hosted by cultural icon Bob Ross. Similarly, NPR often supports Classical music as opposed to avant-garde or cutting edge music/sound art. While Classical music needs to still be appreciated and have a venue – it represents another generation and era. Art21 got it right by documenting some of the most prominent artists in the field today and this season’s first episode will showcase William Kentridge, Doris Salcedo, and Carrie Mae Weems.

Maintenance Update

Posted by ben on September 17, 8:07 am | Category: announcements

We recently switched web hosts, and the transition was a little hairier than expected, due to some Wordpress database quirks. I think everything’s more or less ironed out at this point, but we did lose some comments that were posted over the last couple of weeks. If you posted anything that has disappeared, please know that this was due to a database snafu and nothing more.

Spectators vs. Participant

Posted by thomas-cummins on September 14, 7:44 pm | Category: books, essays, performance art

In his short essay ‘Romancing the Looky-Loos‘, Dave Hickey shares his interesting viewpoint on the evolution of coöptation as viewed through its audience. He makes a distinction between Spectators(the titular looky-loos) and the Particiant. You can spectate the full article here or participate with it .

“spectators invariably align themselves with authority. They have neither the time nor the inclination to make decisions. They just love the winning side— the side with the chic building, the gaudy doctorates, and the star-studded cast. They seek out spectacles whose value is confirmed by the normative blessing of institutions and corporations. In these venues, they derive sanctioned pleasure or virtue from an accredited source, and this makes them feel secure, more a part of things. Participants, on the other hand, do not like this feeling. They lose interest at the moment of accreditation, always assuming there is something better out there, something brighter and more desirable, something more in tune with their own agendas. And they may be wrong, of course. The truth may indeed reside in the vision of full professors and corporate moguls, but true participants persist in not believing this. They continue looking.

Thus, while spectators must be lured, participants just appear, looking for that new thing—the thing they always wanted to see—or the old thing that might be seen anew—and having seen it, they seek to invest that thing with new value. They do this simply by showing up; they do it with their body language and casual conversation, with their written commentary, if they are so inclined, and their disposable income, if it falls to hand. Because participants, unlike spectators, do not covertly hate the things they desire. Participants want their views to prevail, so they lobby for the embodiment of what they lack.

The impact of these participatory investments is tangible across the whole range of cultural production. It is more demonstrable, however, in “live arts” like music, theater, and art than in industrial arts like publishing, film, and recording. Because in the “live arts,” participatory investment, as it accumulates, increases the monetary value of the product. You increase the value of an artwork just by buying it, if you are a participant. Thus, you will probably pay more for the next work by that artist you buy. You do the same if you recruit all your friends to go listen to a band in a bar. If all your friends show up and have a good time, you will almost certainly pay more at the door the next time the band plays. But that’s the idea: to increase the social value of the things you love…”

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