Last Saturday, several groups of artists, scholars, entrepreneurs, writers, and more gathered in the basement of the New Museum for the second annual Open Score symposium, where they delved into topics like artificial intelligence, how memes relate to blackness, and ways the internet can create social infrastructures. The afternoon was co-presented by Rhizome, a contemporary arts organization centered on intersections of art and technology.
In conjunction with the ongoing exhibition (through Saturday February 13) Language of the Birds: Occult & Art the show’s curator Pam Grossman (who’s manned the esoterica blog Phantasmaphile for the last 10 years) will host a panel discussion featuring Professor Susan L. Aberth (author of Surrealism, Alchemy, and Art), Jesse Bransford (Chair of the Art Dep’t at NYU, Grossman described him as “an unbelievable occult artist” and his work is featured in the show), and William Breeze of the band Coil.
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“Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will scar me for life,” reads a framed art installation, the white cursive letters bleached onto a black background with a skull and cross bones underneath. Just below is a larger framed piece, all chalkboard black except for the whites of one eye that looks at you as you read, “Forget who your parents taught you to hate forget forget.”
“I’m not trying to make anyone jealous by telling you this, but I bought my house for $800,” James Cornish, a Detroit-based artist told the small gathering at Spread Art’s Bushwick Open Studios outpost on Saturday. “Well, we didn’t have cops — which isn’t necessarily as bad as you might think, wooh!”
Cornish, who essentially lives off-the-grid thanks to solar panels, shared an experience that’s become a familiar, but no less envy-inducing refrain when it comes to people describing the benefits (particularly for artists) of living in a place like Detroit. Almost everyone at the discussion audibly gasped. But Cornish and other artists visiting BOS from places like Detroit, Jersey City, and Philadelphia shared some surprisingly similar concerns about ownership, gentrification, and real estate with Bushwick residents.
Anyone who bemoans feminist discussions for being stuffy, crunchy, woolen affairs is not only looking for a swift punch to the nethers, they’re also dead wrong. A panel held last Thursday at the Brooklyn Museum challenged the Portlandia image of feminism and witnessed several women being their badass selves, see: Lydia Lunch’s impassioned spoken word about race riots and abuse, Narcissister’s short film in which she plays a topless Little Red Riding Hood who “rides” the Hunter, and Johanna Fateman’ trademark Valley Girl diction. Unlike that introductory Women’s Studies course you took as an undergrad, “I Will Resist With Every Inch And Every Breath: Punk Rock And Feminist Art” (named for the Bikini Kill song above) was pretty freaking rad.