February 22, 2007

BOOK | Critical Mess

A new book Critical Mess: Art critics and the state of their practice presents a series of essays by leading writers in the field discussing their declining readership and influence. A common lament is that most art writing is descriptive and offers little in the way of value judgement and opinion, Or that the writing is obscure, theory based and pedantic. Edited by Raphael Rubenstein.

Charles Giuliano writes of the anthology, "No child aspires to grow up and be an art critic ... Like virtually everyone who answers to the tag of art critic I got there by luck and circumstance. Having washed out of the Institute of Fine Arts as a student of Egyptology, that’s another story, I answered an ad in the Village Voice and landed the job as director of an artist’s cooperative, Spectrum Gallery, on 57th street. This is when I first encountered the notion that there was a crisis in the field of art criticism."

Read the full review online at:

Read a transcript of an interview with Raphael Rubenstein at:

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February 06, 2007

PROJECT | Ten by ten

Ten by Ten is a new portfolio project presented by LAXART and Uber.com. Ten by Ten is a monthly dialogue between 10 artists and 10 writers. Each artist participating in the portfolio project has designed an Uber page as a combination studio/gallery/personal profile. After visiting the artist's page each writer contributes a piece of critical commentary that describes the work, raises questions about its implications and sets it within a new -- sometimes highly subjective -- frame of reference.

As one of Los Angeles' foremost forward-thinking non-profit contemporary art spaces, LAXART offers access to a broad range of visual art, architecture and design. Uber is an artist-driven social network that gives users an opportunity to share their work in an environment that expands beyond the boundaries of the conventional gallery setting into a trans-national virtual realm.

Ten by Ten is where these strains of information intersect. Each artist and writer's Uber page is linked to the Ten by Ten space; it is a hub from which the Uber user can embark on any number of pathways. It's a place to experience art and writing, and also a forum that will foster further collaboration, camaraderie and discussion within Uber's diverse community of artists, musicians, makers and discerning media users. Future editions of the portfolio project will continue to feature new and emerging talent from within the community that is gathering at Uber, LAXART and Ten by Ten.

To enjoy Ten by Ten go to http://www.uber.com/ar

tFor more information on LAXART programming http://www.laxart.org

February 02, 2007

PUBLICATION | New writing in pylon

pylon is pleased to announce the publication of 3 newly commissioned critical essays about the work of pylon artists Andy Gracie (hostprods), Jen Southern (Hamilton & Southern) and Steve Symons:

Andy Gracie: Symbiotic Circuits
by Mitchell Whitelaw

Beside Ourselves, Sometimes
Kris Cohen on Hamilton and Southern

Eureka Moments: A Background to aura, Sonic Augmented Reality by Steve Symons
By Helen Sloan

The texts will be published on the re-designed pylon website (in html and downloadable pdf formats).

For further information, please contact Michelle Hirschhorn, pylon project development manager:


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