Pretty Power: an up-Hil’ battle

March 8th, 2013

Screen shot 2013-03-07 at 12.49.06 PM

So, for my day job I work at a reception desk at a high powered capital investment company.  I sit in the lobby across from a large screen television airing CNN all day long.  As I sit at my desk throughout the day, with the television on, my various co-workers pass through the lobby for this meeting or that trip to the kitchen. They glance at the headlines or the image on screen and then send an innocuous comment in my direction: “All these shootings have to stop,” “Looks cold out East,” “My kids won’t stop doing that Harlem Shake.” But the day Hillary Clinton had her hearing in front of the Senate for the Benghazi attacks, the comments I heard as people passed by, from men and women, were: “She’s getting old,” “She’s gained weight,” “She’s looks tired.”


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Tomie Arai – Now at the Center for Book Arts

March 7th, 2013

photo 3 copyTomie Arai is an Asian American artist based in New York. The media focus of her art practice is screen-printing; a process which allows her to apply illustrations to a range of surfaces in a complex manner. Arai creates layered assemblage, murals, sculptural objects, and installation environments. She pushes beyond trends of design and production that are synonymous with screen-printing by excavating culturally-laden topics, visually archiving oral histories, and employing marginal themes (as opposed to the mainstream and pop-art foils.)

As she began to learn what it would take to become a dedicated artist, Arai, “gravitated toward workspace programs, and groups of artists.” She learned the craft of printmaking at at Robert Blackburn‘s workshop, working alongside a range of artists from all over the world. This format of working and learning within artist-directed spaces continued in her practice as she spent time at The Basement Workshop, (founded by Faye Chiang on Elizabeth street in New York.) She currently is exhibiting work at The Center for Book Arts. Developing her practice in this pedagogical manner allowed her to hone her skill in her own time – particularly at first, as a single mother. Her modes of working came out of the direct experience and inspiration from the people surrounding her. This also provided the opportunity for her to establish her own approach, in contrast to others, that was not stereotypical, or edition-centric. Rather then methodical she uses her screens in a much more extemporaneous form once she builds up a library of symbols around any given project. EXPAND POST

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Sport Power

March 1st, 2013
Brandi Chastain, photographed by Robert Beck

Brandi Chastain, photographed by Robert Beck

If you are a reader of this journal, one snap judgment that might be made is that (like me) your number one pastime has not been attempting, viewing, or reading about sports. For one thing, THIS still exists. But recently, it has come to my attention that my own neglect of the physical for the so-called intellectual may be a lost opportunity.

Riffing off of this week’s achievement in diplomacy with North Korea, (thanks to U.S. sports celebrity Dennis Rodman and, more importantly, the intervention of Vice Magazine,) begs similar questions to the ones that have been a-buzz around the academy as well as the media: “How do we identify cultural capital? How do we use cultural diplomacy?” And, “What is the significance of the frequency of private individuals or agents acting in a way that effects national diplomacy/security?”

I am not actually going to try to address those questions. Sorry, but I am just a policy spectator. I can, however, provide some alternative narratives for us creative types (nerds) to interface with the athletic sector. EXPAND POST

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Artist and Activist: Tracy Ann Essoglou, PhD

February 27th, 2013

I met Tracy Ann Essoglou at the Creative Time Summit last year which focused on “confronting inequity.” We connected after attending a seminar that was lead by Steve Lambert. Like magnets, Tracy and I, along with two representatives of Reel Grrls, were drawn together to exchange statistics and contact information.

Tracy had been a part of the Women’s Action Coalition (or WAC) in the nineties which is associated with the beginnings of Third Wave Feminism. You could place WAC alongside the Guerilla Girls (still active today) and ACT UP! as another activist organization that was using strategy and aesthetics to give a voice to politically charged issues of the time.

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Eve & Vday

February 15th, 2013

vdaychartYesterday was Valentines Day, in case you didn’t notice.

A day of commerce according to The Atlantic’s findings.

One boy on the New York Subway publicly exclaimed his revelation that it was a day where everyone would be having SEX, with much delight.

It’s also a day reinforced between people who are barely acquainted. My dental hygienist and a shop clerk both bid me a “Happy Valentines Day,” wishes also conveyed by my professor (to his class of about one hundred students).

Ideally it’s a day to consider who and how much we love, and too often we scramble to find only trite and over-used symbols of those affections.

One of the few things known about St. Valentine is that he actually died on February 14th (according to Wikipedia). That sheds a slightly different light on the day, as viewed in the past. There is one modern source seeking to shed new light on the day as it is viewed in the future: Eve Ensler. EXPAND POST

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