Jimmy Chen: Mirrors

selfie1

In Eduard Manet's A Bar at the Folies-Bergère (1882) a woman bartender stands directly in front of us behind a bar, her hands confidently propped up — less obsequious than merely resigned, almost bored by the present narrative — ready to serve the customer, who is not only always right, but in this case on the right. I invoke the collective first "us" because, though we experience this painting alone, locked behind different POVs and angles, we do so collectively.

Read More

What’s a dwarf fortress then?

SimCity, Maxis, 1989 From The New Yorker: The great lesson of SimCity, the fact the game was built to display, is the delight of city life, of urbanity in general. Even failing cities are beautiful in SimCity. Their streets are straight and well kempt, their deserted building zones are...

Read More

Dylan J. Montanari on Michael Fried

Readers of contemporary art criticism may have come across the following story about Michael Fried. Fellow critic Rosalind Krauss was with Fried at a show in the early 1960s when someone confronted him about a Frank Stella painting. “What’s so good about that?” the challenger asked. According to Krauss,...

Read More

Often, standing in front of paintings Jenny Diski wonders what it is she is supposed to be feeling…

From Midnight in Paris, Sony Pictures Classics, 2011 by Jenny Diski There is a picture in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, where I live, called The Annunciation. I keep a postcard of it in my writing room, and visit the actual painting from time to time. A winged and...

Read More

Climbing Up to the Moon

Isn’t it strange how complex and overwhelming our feelings about fictional people can become? There is a conflict of impulses: the sympathetic and the dramatic. We want characters to be happy for the same reason we want our friends and family to be happy – hell, I’m such a...

Read More

M’Dada

Dada is a new tendency in art. One can tell this from the fact that until now nobody knew anything about it, and tomorrow everyone in Zurich will be talking about it. Dada comes from the dictionary. It is terribly simple. In French it means "hobby horse". In German...

Read More

33.333

As if the name alone weren’t troubling enough, the fact that No New York is, was and forever shall be a compilation proves equally as troublous. More so than anyone else, it was Brian Eno who committed these four bands to wax. So, yet again, an essay explicitly devoted...

Read More

[redacted]@[redacted].[redacted]

Claude Monet’s signature in the Dulwich Picture Gallery visitors’ book From Paper Monument: By now, commercial galleries know to make an artist’s CV, press clippings, and images readily available for download by prospective collectors and critics alike. Email blasts and rich media campaigns have all but replaced snail-mailed press...

Read More

Russell Bennetts: Jarredhead

Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal at the 85th Academy Awards; screengrabs by X by Russell Bennetts 1. John Barrowman. 2. All-too pertinent news clips are shown in the background of two discussion scenes. 3. Music I listen to for pleasure being used for pain. (I know this happened IRL,...

Read More

‘Perfectly comfortable to live in when the hour means idleness’

Mrs. Schuyler Van Rensselaer (Mariana Griswold), Augustus Saint Gaudens, 1888 From The Design Observer: Many of Van Rensselaer’s essays focus on country houses, and can be read as offering a counter-narrative to the better-known contemporaneous essays on high-rise architecture by Louis Sullivan and Montgomery Schuyler.  In his seminal “The...

Read More

Sparkly Compost

Located in Kleinbasel close to the Rhine, the Kaskadenkondensator is a place of mediation and experimental, research­- and process­-based art production with a focus on performance and performative expression. The gallery, founded in 1994, and located on the third floor of the former Sudhaus Warteck Brewery (hence cascade condenser),...

Read More

Clara Rockmore’s Theremin by Shane Jesse Christmass

Take one look at Clara Rockmore, what do you see? Massive piled-upon Beehive, frail hands, but it is the eyes, and the eyes are fixed upon one predetermined point in the universe, a single ligature, like a somnambulist cheating in someone’s dressing room.

Read More

Flicks

A friend of mine in his mid-twenties is a Film Studies graduate, and like a typical old person – both somewhat right and very annoying – I’m always mentioning old movies to him, being surprised he hasn’t seen them, and pointing out earlier connections to films he has seen,...

Read More
Marcel-Duchamp-Leaving-the-Cafe-1

Marcel Duchamp sat silent. He seemed far away, lost in reverie. Then, he spoke of the death of art, which he described as...

Read More
Bobbi Lurie
Duchamp-smoking-through-the-cracked-glass

But I was perplexed. Marcel Duchamp didn’t order a thing to eat at the café. I assumed it was because he was dead, requiring nothing...

Read More
fp

Earthquake metaphors have had strong currency, both political and journalistic, in the aftermath of May’s European Parliament (EP) elections. The most spectacular tremors were...

Read More
Ernst_Ludwig_Kirchner

Both Derrida and Ronell suggest that saying yes is “telephonic,” both in the sense that it resounds over a distance and therefore always is...

Read More
ramirez1fullsize

Unless they lived in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona or California – all former Mexican territories – most U.S. residents in the 1930s were unaware...

Read More
MashaTheDevilProbably

The different tools used to capture the frame and the wild variety in terms of image quality, which is the way films are remembered...

Read More
ron-sky-rat-cover

“We’ve got a problem,” says Andrew Shuta of Spork as he and Drew Burk guide me into a fancy conference room. Ron’s sitting across from...

Read More
chinua

Many years ago, in an interview he did with Bill Moyers, Chinua Achebe was asked, “What would you want the West to do?” Achebe...

Read More
Masha Tupitsyn
sickert

No one can love anymore because of an overabundance of reaction formation. No one wants to owe anything to their desire(s); to other people’s...

Read More
Hearn1

How could a man born on a Greek island in 1850 be a household name in Japan today? The answer lies in the story...

Read More
kentridge1

Jean Améry titled his renowned book on voluntary death, Hand an Sich Legen – To lay Hands on Oneself. Beyond the argument of Amery...

Read More
letters

Several months ago, I wrote a long letter by hand to a young woman I barely knew. That sounds pretty dubious, if not to...

Read More
Kemmler

In a move that might strike readers as odd, Derrida spends most of these lectures not on the case made by death penalty proponents,...

Read More
proust

Although Charles Kenneth Scott Moncrieff’s translation of À la recherche du temps perdu is considered by many journalists and writers to be the best...

Read More