My guest this week is artist Josh Blackwell. He recently curated a show at Zurcher Gallery in new york city called, "Underemployed." The show takes as it's inspiration an essay by Oscar Wilde, which argues that art suffers when it is obliged to reflect and regurgitate the images and logic of the reality and culture that govern our daily lives. Instead, Josh set out in search of works that reveal the potential for alternative realities and fantastical logics contained in the materials and objects we encounter every day.
This week on the show my guests are artists Ray Sweeten and Lisa Gwilliam. The two artists, who exhibit under the name DataSpaceTime, recently had an exhibition of their work here in Brooklyn called "The Optimum Value of Y." The exhibition was based around portraits and wallpaper made with QR codes --- those matrices of black and white squares we see on advertisements and posters that, when scanned with a smartphone can link the user to anything from a website, to video or text. The way that QR codes link physical objects to bits of data and content on the web, fascinates my guests, and I spoke with them recently in Brooklyn about their interactive QR code prints, the special mobile app they built to explore the pieces and how viewers are feeding their own data back into their artwork.
For the last 25 years my guest, photographer Paul Shambroom, has been photographing American power. In the 1990s he was granted unprecedented access to the US nuclear arsenal, and he traveled the country making images of weapons command sites and intercontinental ballistic missiles. After 9/11 Paul embarked on a new project, documenting the training facilities, equipment and first responder personal involved in the major efforts to prepare for a another terrorist attack on US soil.
This week on the show my guest is painter Jason Brockert. Jason currently has a show up at Iam8bit Gallery in Los Angeles. The show is called American Icons, and features paintings of Atari game cartridges, vintage gaming consoles, and toy action figures from the film Star Wars. The works explore ideas of nostalgia and ask us to reflect on the ways our childhood imaginations cascade into our adult lives.
This week on Art Uncovered artists Paul Brainard and Frank Webster talk about the show they've curated at Allegra LaViola Gallery: Die Like You Really Mean It. The show is on view through December 3rd, 2011.
My guest this week is video artist Jesse McLean. In her videos Jesse draws on footage from films, reality tv, and you tube-- as will as her own footage --- to craft narratives that examine our emotional relationships to media. She currently has a solo show up at Interstate Projects here in Brooklyn. Jesse spoke with me over the phone from Chicago about her solo show, the role of appropriation in her work and how an obsession wit twilight fans contributed to her art practice.
This week on the show I'm joined by photojournalist Arthur Pollock. Over the last 50 years, Arthur has photographed some of the landmark events in our country's history --- including the student protests to the Vietnam war and the space shuttle challenger explosion. He has also documented countless day to day stories and features for some of the country's top news outlets. In the early 1980s Arthur joined the staff of the Boston herald, and over the course of his career has been the recipient of numerous awards including the World Press Award as well as the National Press Photographers Association Picture of the Year award. He is currently a assistant photo editor at the Boston Herald.
My guests this week are filmmakers Ian Markiewicz and Alex Hammond. They are the co-directors of Better Than Something: Jay Reatard, a film that tells the story of Memphis garage rock auteur Jay Reatard.
In 2001, after 9/11, U.S. politicians instructed Americans to grieve and mourn the national tragedy in the most American of ways: They told us to go shopping. This call for consumption as a patriotic response to the 9/11 attacks baffled my guest, photographer Brian Ulrich, and inspired him to start what became a ten-year project investigating the phenomenon of American consumerism.
This week on Art Uncovered: French filmmaker Laure Flamarion. She is the co-director of the new film "Somewhere to Disappear." The film follows renown photographer Alec Soth as he travels across America in search of men living on the margins of society. Laure and her co-director Arnaud document Alec as he meets and photographs an intriguing cast of modern day hermits living in caves, mountain cabins, and in remote swaths of desert.
This week on Art Uncovered I speak with Steve Lambert. Steve makes objects and creates experiences that connect idealistic and radical ideas with everyday life. His works offer glimpses a better (dare I say utopian?) world, and allow us to ask, "well what if?"
This week on Art Uncovered: Brooklyn-based painter Jamie Powell. In her paintings Jamie takes advantage of everything her canvas has to offer, painting on both the front and back sides and then cutting into the canvases to expose colored strips of canvas that would usually be facing the wall. The results are playful abstractions inspired by the colors of cartoons and sugary children's breakfast cereals. Jamie has shown her work at FLUXspace in Philadelphia, the 92nd St Y in New York, Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, and Seton Hall Law School in Newark.
This week on the show my guest is documentary filmmaker Marshall Curry. His newest film is called "If A Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front." The film tells the story of Daniel McGowan, an environmentalist who was arrested in 2005 on Federal terrorism charges for his role in the burning of two Oregon timber facilities.
This week on Art Uncovered I speak with French photographer Céline Clanet. Over the last six years Céline has been traveling to Mazi, a small village in Norwegian Lapland, located in the arctic circle, to photograph the Sami people--- one of the only indigenous arctic communities of continental Europe.
Joining me on the show this week Nicholas de Monchaux. He is the author of a fascinating book called Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo. The book chronicles how the Playtex company -- known for making bras and girdles --- beat out traditional military contractors for the job of designing the spacesuit that Neil Armstrong would eventually wear on the surface of the moon. Nicholas sets this story in the larger context of technology's relationship to the human body touching on everything from androids and Christian Dior to sci-fi and city planning.
This week on the show I'm joined by Bushwick-based painter Rebecca Litt. Rebecca's paintings filter bits of autobiography and vignettes from everyday life into surreal scenes set on Brooklyn rooftops, in swimming pools and around vacant lots. Among these scenes Rebecca paints male and female characters who seem to externalize their inner frustrations and anxieties, sometimes hiding among large nests of bright orange construction netting or a wind blown mass of bubble wrap. Rebecca describes her work as a kind of fictionalized autobiography -- and i sat down with her in her studio in Bushwick to find out more.
My guest this week is artist Jason Burch, maker of photographs, videos and collages that examine the surreal intersections between the natural and man-made environment. A lot of Jason's projects are set in construction sites and housing developments around New Jersey, and this week I talked with him about exploring these spaces and the projects that have come as a result.
My guest this week is Lithuanian artist Julijonas Urbonas. He is the artist behind the Euthanasia Coaster, a hypothetical roller coaster that is part sci-fi engineering challenge and part thought experiment. It asks us to consider alternatives to the often sterile and medicalized rituals of euthanasia and to entertain the possibility that such an experience could be both aesthetically meaningful, and even euphoric for the person ending his or her life.
Welcome to Art Uncovered. My guest on the show this week is artist Jonathan Monaghan. Jonathan makes short films that combine high end computer animation, with surreal and fantastical scenes drawn from religious themes, popular culture and history.
On the show this week: Bjoern Meyer-Ebrecht. Bjoern makes, collages, sculptures and drawings that draw on found imagery of post war architecture. His work deals not so much with the architecture itself, but what architectural forms can tell us about society, politics and ideology.
This week I spoke with Andrea Polli, a digital media artist who works with science and technology to create public  installations, video and sound works called "sonifications".  Andrea's work deals heavily with climate and weather, so for her projects she frequently collaborates with atmospheric and other scientists to collect data, conduct interviews and make field recordings that she turns into her work. Andrea is an associate professor of fine arts and engineering at the University of New Mexico, and the co-author of Far Field: Digital Culture, Climate Change and the Poles which will be published in September. I spoke with Andrea over the phone about the intersections of science and art, the seven weeks she  spent in Antarctica, and the projects she has on the horizon. Particle Falls from Andrea Polli on Vimeo.
My guest this week is artist Luisa Kazanas . Luisa's sculptures and prints explore psychological states of being and draw on the aesthetics of science fiction and imagery from alchemical texts. She's described her work as "a bit of a Victorian plus mid-century modern plus Kubrickian 2001 train wreck."
My guest on the show today is Louise Weinberg. She is the Registrar and Archives Manager at the Queens Museum of Art here in New York City, and she has recently put together an exhibition for the museum called Future Perfect: Reconstructing the 1939 World's Fair. The exhibit collects photographs and other artifacts that chronicle the production of one of the most ambitious, and expensive, World's fairs in history.
My guest this week is design historian Steven Heller. His new book, published by Phaidon, is called "Iron Fists: Branding the 20th Century Totalitarian State. The book is a survey of the visual propaganda produced by 4 of the twentieth century's most notorious totalitarian regimes: Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Soviet Russia and Communist China. Iron Fists looks at the the logos, posters, fashion, typefaces, slogans and other visual objects produced by these states and examines the ways that these graphic identity techniques mirror the ones modern corporations use to sell their products.
I first came across the work of week's guest Jesse Hulcher's at Interstate Projects here in Brooklyn, where he had a video piece involving the film Jurassic Park. Now, apparently, the newest version of iMovie --Apple's popular video editing software --- has a preset called Jurassic Park trailer, that is supposed to take home video footage and transform it into a blockbuster trailer complete with music, quick cuts and all the rest. So, for his piece, Jesse followed the program's instructions and took clips from the actual Jurassic park to see how well the software could assemble the footage from the film it claimed to mimic.
My guest this week is artist Amy Eckert. Amy's photographs and collages explore ideas of home, mobility and the tension between longing to be two places at once. For her series Manufacturing Home, Amy photographed the interiors of model mobile homes across the the U.S. -- revealing the strange contradictions in these factory-made homes on wheels.
This week on Art Uncovered my guest is Carl Deihl --- a portland-based artist who's work examines the intersections between folklore and the supernatural and communications technology. His works take the form of video essays and pseudo-scientific lectures and that use unexplained phenomena like sasquatch and poltergeists as a jumping off point to investigate the glitches, errors, and unexpected aberrations of obsolete technologies.
This week on the show my guest is Michelle Muldrow. Michelle's paintings deal with the American landscape and the myths, politics, and man made forces that shape it. She's painted urban swaths around los angeles and the sprawling exurbs and malls found in northern california as well as in and around cleveland ohio, where she moved in 2006 from san francisco.
For almost four decades, Homer Flynn has been the Art Director and visual driving force behind The Residents --- the iconic avant garde musical group who, since the early 1970s, have released over 60 albums, numerous music videos and multi-media projects including a CD-ROM, and whose members have, for nearly forty years, remained completely anonymous. Homer was brought on by the band to help craft their aesthetic, and he has done just that through a combination of surreal collage, subversive pastiche of popular culture, and what has become the group's iconic image: a giant eyeball wearing a top-hat. In the album covers, promotional posters, illustrations and drawings created for the Residents, Homer has created a unique folklore around the band, one that explores the dark and ironic sides of capitalism, Americana, and the music industry. In addition to handling the visuals for The Residents, Homer also heads  the band's business arm, the Cryptic Corporation. For the first time in the US, Homer has a large show of his work which is up now at Johansson Projects in Oakland. The show  surveys his work with the Residents as well as never before seen personal work curated by his daughter, artist Jana Flynn. Homer spoke with me recently from his home in San Francisco about what it was like to show his work and his history with the Residents. 00:00 Thomas Intro 01:50 Hello Skinny - The Residents 02:39 Homer Flynn Interview pt. 1 05:26 Elvis and His Boss - The Residents 07:53 Homer Flynn Interview pt. 2 12:35 Constantinople - The Residents 14:59 Homer Flynn Interview pt. 3 18:41 Picnic Boy - The Residents 19:38 Perfect Love - The Residents 20:40 Homer Flynn Interview pt. 4 25:01 Laughing Song - The Residents 27:09 Homer Flynn Interview pt. 5 29:58 The Walrus Hunt - The Residents 33:06 Homer Flynn Interview pt. 6 35:05 Weight Lifting Lulu - The Residents 38:10 Homer Flynn Interview pt. 7 42:20 Theme for an American TV Show - The Residents 43:41 Homer Flynn Interview pt. 8 45:57 Shut Up! Shut Up! - The Residents 46:58 Homer Flynn Interview pt. 9 49:20 Hitler Was a Vegetarian - The Residents 50:50 Finish
This past weekend people from across brooklyn and new york city descended on the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bushwick for the 5th installment of Bushwick open studios. For the 2 day event hundreds of artists opened their studio doors to the public, while many more hosted pop-up galleries and put on group shows in their apartments and backyards, and the numerous permanent gallery spaces in the neighborhood opened new shows, staged special events and stayed open late.
Today on the show my guests are artists Boris Rasin and Kenny Komer. Their posters, sculptures and interactive projects engage viewers on in unexpected ways on the streets of NYC, promoting discussion, and encouraging us to look more closely at our day to day environment and the ways we interact with public space.
On Art Uncovered this week I talk with painter Matthew Miller about his solo show that's up now at Famous Accountants. The show is called the magic black of an open barn door on a really sunny summer day, when you just cannot see into it, and it features five striking self portraits all of which present Matthew's cropped figure set against a depth-less field of black paint.
This week on the show my guest is artist Doug Young. Doug has just begun a new body of work of paintings on glass using a technique called reverse painting, and three of these new works are on view now at Sugar Gallery in Bushwick, Brooklyn as part of a group show called Working Together. The images in the show depict strange and fantastical places including a vintage Disneyland Attraction, a lethal injection room and a view of the Death Star
This week on the show my guest is painter Natalie Westbrook. Her dense canvases of thickly textured paint depict chaotic scenes of tropical flora and fauna, in which life is constantly mutating, reproducing and consuming itself.
This week on the show my guest is painter Eric LoPresti. His new show entitled A Different Country is up now at Like the Spice Gallery in Williamsburg Brooklyn. The exhibition features paintings inspired by his experience growing up near the Hanford plutonium production facilities in Eastern Washington State. These facilities played a key role in in the atomic arms race from the 1940s through the cold war. It was in fact this facility that produced the plutonium for the bomb dropped on Nagasaki Japan at the end of WW2. Eric's arial landscapes speak to this dark history and the ways in which violent human conflict marks the natural environment.