Sunday, April 20, 2008

Who Dies Like A Dog?

Oh, I know you know all about this shit and are so concerned you’ve been signing online petitions left and right.

To horribly paraphrase Jörg, Seriously, shut the fuck up about that dog (which you know only about through hearsay) and eat your cheeseburger, hypocrites.

As far as I’m concerned, and this is old news anyway, Vargas was extremely successful in exposing our faults as members of the 1st world society, we ignore just as many starving people every day as we do the dogs in his city, while passing around useless links and leaving self righteous angry comments to make ourselves feel better because we’re protecting the poor little animals from the horrible artists.

The only thing the artist is guilty of is making us confront directly one small portion of the evils that we, every day through ignorance or direct action, allow to happen. It makes us feel horrible, but we redirect that rage on the messenger. I’ve seen hundreds of comments about how people want to physically harm him, and I’m not surprised. Not surprised at all.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to shut up and eat a cheeseburger, and actually do care, these are organizations you may be interested in joining or supporting: The World Society For The Protection Of Animals and The Humane Society. I guarantee you this: Both do a lot more for the world every day than facebook groups.

posted by Ian Aleksander Adams at 11:01 am  

Saturday, April 19, 2008

“What Is Art?” Day


“What is art and why does it matter?” posed by Yale Open House to the public.

Conceptual Art on wikipedia.

What Is Art thread on

Tolstoy on “What is Art?”

What Isn’t Art? – Time Magazine 1958

(this also seems like it wouldn’t be a bad place to tell you to read Brave new god Brad Troemel’s interview in Chief Magazine.

posted by Ian Aleksander Adams at 5:20 am  

Friday, April 18, 2008

Here’s a shot from this winter. That’s right, we’re not even through the Rolleis from over break.

Noel over at We Can’t Paint announced that he’s working to expand his excellent photography blog into a magazine and gallery. I love the idea, and I’m super excited to see what comes of it. He’s always had a great eye for finding new work. I’m not exactly sure if the magazine will be printed physically, but I really hope so.

I’d be just as interested in a I Heart Photograph magazine, actually, and would probably be one of the early subscribers. As much as I love blogs, there is definitely something wonderful about having a publication to archive, and later take off the shelf to show to your grandpa in the park.

On a totally unrelated note, but as an extremely interesting documentation, check out this time lapse video of a man stuck in an elevator for 41 hours. I’m not totally sold on the overtly sentimental music, which reminds me of something I just heard in my film class, but it’s worth a watch. I wonder what it would be like with the ambient sounds speed up to match.

posted by Ian Aleksander Adams at 8:51 am  

Thursday, April 17, 2008

On The Abortion Art Project

I posted this as a comment to the Dimensions blog, but I figure it’s worth discussing.

A quick sum up: Artist creates performance that includes press releases, news articles, etcand people (understandably) take it at face value. And then respond with even more hate and shortsighted attacks when it’s revealed that it was creative fiction. People don’t understand how much they are manipulated by the media they consume on a daily basis, and then when art POINTS OUT the manipulation phrases such as “masturbation” and “pretentious” are soon to follow (along with various other insults, and attacks on the artist’s appearance, age, race, school, any other easy to notice feature).

As usual, most of the things being discussed have to do with how her details were wrong or how stupid art is, instead of the fact that almost universally the story about “Abortion Art” was spread around and posted almost verbatim, instead of being investigated so they could see that it was all an absurdist piece of fiction. Scam and Hoax are said often, with “art” usually being in quotations. What gives these media outlets the balls to judge art? Are they “news?”

I don’t know Aliza personally, and have not even seen the work being discussed (it hasn’t even gone up yet physically, though I feel press releases are just as much a creative and controlled act as actual paintings, videos, etc).


I am not going to address the direct visual content in the work as that will require another large amount of text, and my views on abortion are not very simple. I do not know whether this artist has had to go through a miscarriage or an abortion (it is quite possible) and will make no statement on whether it is a mockery, but in opening up discussion (even if it turns out 99% of it is negative towards her acts) she has succeeded in one of the primary goals of art.

It’s almost unfortunate that the truth (or what I assume is the truth) wasn’t delayed a little longer while the performance was digested. But I understand why she caved, it’s a tremendous amount of pressure for an artist to be under. I’ve been involved with performance and installation art that required putting all my faults public and then acting like an asshole (well a stereotype of corporate greed/fear) for 6 hours during the opening.. and I’m not someone who thrives on controversy, just feel that it’s important to challenge both the art world and the consuming public. It’s quite possible that she isn’t either…

Art is about opening a dialog and creating discussion. It’s about not taking things at face value.

Even if everyone thinks she is pretentious, a bitch, etc, she’s got people talking.

This is where the logical conclusion of performance art goes, onto the internet, onto documentation, onto press releases.

Abortion Art is something that I can see actually happening, and someone using that possibility as a sort of way of satirizing the art world AND the media at the same time is genius.

And about the people saying she’s self centered… well, people are always kvetching about artists, saying they are self centered. It’s true that to be an artist it requires a lot of self promotion. It’s not enough to have something to say with your work, you have to convince people to listen. No one else will do it for you, you will not be discovered. But that doesn’t make the message less meaningful. It’s a complete ad hominem argument.

All art has an element of self. When dealing with bodily issues, what could be more poignant than using yourself? Chris Burden, Joseph Beuys, any performance artist. Any comedian, any actor. They are successful because they are using themselves and they HAVE to be ok with being in the public spotlight. It doesn’t mean that they are egotistical (though some can be, obviously.)

Would it be right to use OTHER people’s menstrual blood? Or should one explore their own relationship to the substance, to the idea of creation. I’m not a woman, so I feel like I’m not qualified to speak on a lot of aspects of the content of the work, but the idea of creating an elaborate illusion, an elaborate layered performance is something that I feel is absolutely needed in the contemporary art world. It’s something that people from Terry Richardson to Duchamp have worked with, life as art, the artist as a layered, painted, recorded figure themselves.

It’s a lot more pretentious to pretend your work can change the world, to pretend that a picture you took is “about the environment” or similar themes than to make work that relates to your own personal struggle of self, your struggle as an artist, your struggle with art and with the world you’re putting such personal expression into.

posted by Ian Aleksander Adams at 2:24 pm  

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Man, I just pulled staples for something like 7 hours and I’ve got wicked blister on my hand. I’m not even going to go into how hungry I am. Oh well, crashing.

Wish I had something with more content for you. Instead you should check out Shoot! The Blog where Rachel has posted a couple great interviews in the past couple days. You might have to scroll down a bit, she’s been busy.

posted by Ian Aleksander Adams at 5:14 pm  

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Working super hard on the online version of the installation.. and tomorrow the physical version is going down. Without the performance aspect, it’s not as poignant, so we figured a week was enough time for it to be up. I think the next show is an environmental fundraiser, so if you’re in the area you should check that out.

I’ve transfered almost all of my old blog over to at this point, and from now on I’m considering that the main blog and this the mirror. What does this mean? Less huge image posts with LJ-Cuts, mainly. More linking to outside stuff. Besides that everything should be the same, I’ll be responding to comments on both sites, and so on. Feel free to read it there, though, if you’re not on lj. It looks a bit neater. I’ll still be reading my friends list, of course.

posted by Ian Aleksander Adams at 4:36 pm  

Monday, April 14, 2008

APE‘s final cut for his promo. Click here to see a full screen version: ILikeThesePhotos

Permanent Stick-It-Out-Ed-Ness: Our Artist Trip went well.

I’ll be working on getting some installation photographs and video soon, but it will be a bit longer for the final online version. Things went well, overall. At least 60 percent of people got it, I think, with some amazingly positive and amazingly negative responses. I believe that’s a good mix though, it’s hard to put all your faults public and then act like more of an asshole than you are normally (as a character) for a night, but as personal experimentation it went quite well. We were very uncomfortable with it, and it’s something worth exploring. I don’t think I should ever become comfortable or complacent in art, it has to have some kind of risk to it.

posted by Ian Aleksander Adams at 10:29 am  

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Have you seen this?

Lost Phone.
If anyone has seen this phone since Friday,
Call Ian at 413-530-3634.
It’s Beth’s phone.

posted by Ian Aleksander Adams at 7:37 am  

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Desoto Row, 8-11pm

Our show is tomorrow!

posted by Ian Aleksander Adams at 2:19 pm  

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

So here is what Epic Fail would look like as a single image/print. I mentioned this a few posts back, but this would be 53 by 42 feet large. There’s a larger scrollable version at the website.

One thing I felt was really interesting was the way I felt while saving each thread. It reminded me of the same social documentary feel I get from taking images at an event or of a subject important to me. I wonder if screencapping is a photographic process. I don’t think I’d become a screencap artist in general, but I want to play with this a bit more.

I feel like 4chan is today’s avant garde underground. There’s the unbridled creativity, the ability to be something different from wherever you came from, the reclamation of negative terms, love/hate relationship with public exposure, art, etc

Cara Phillips responded, along with a lot of other people to the recent NY Times article on Gallerinas. I’m not going to go into detail here, as you should really read her post and the discussion on it. It’s generated a lot of talk about the place women photographers have in the industry, what place they should have, etc. One of the things to have come of it is the creation of small image women photographers can put on their website stating that they will support and help out other women in the industry (as it was noticed that often guys work on a buddy system, but women have yet to develop the same kind of supportive net. In theory at least) and a blog to feature contemporary women photographers. Check it out.

Speaking of Bloggers looking to revitalize the industry and feature a selection of creative work, Rob, A Photo Editor, picked out the selection from his free promotion experiment and is putting them up at If that link isn’t working yet, you should be able to view the images at the flickr pool. It’s a pretty good cross section of contemporary working photographers as well as emerging talent. If your images are better than most of the images in there, it isn’t because they’re bad, it’s because you’re good. So you should be submitting to this kind of thing. Get off your butt! This means you half the people I know at SCAD.

And while I’m linking, I should mention Brad Troemel’s little essay on Ryan McGinley. It’s well worth a read. If you don’t know who Brad is, check out his site (my favorite project is called Special, where he climbed up trees, shouted something good about himself, took a picture, then biked to walmart and bought himself a trophy. I may have mentioned it before. Too bad. I love it.)

Finally, I’m not totally sure if putting your name on an internet site is Standing Strong, but it can’t hurt, so check out this Stand Strong Against Hate site. With worldwide antisemitism at around a 30% increase as of the last government report, with other forms of intolerance not lagging far behind, any initiative such as this is welcome by me.

posted by Ian Aleksander Adams at 1:07 pm  

« Previous PageNext Page »