— bureaux de vizKult

Film & Video

Far Rockaway, New York : Hurricane Sandy Relief, Distribution Center. photo: Occupy617 CC BY 2.0
Far Rockaway, New York : Hurricane Sandy Relief, Distribution Center. photo: Occupy617 CC BY 2.0

About a week before Hurricane Sandy hit The Yes Men launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $100,000 for a movie about themselves. Intertwined between the frantic tweets of the Sandy’s devastation, The Yes Men were tweeting for more movie money. Then all went silent… for many it was several weeks without electricity, hot water, communication devices, many without homes and loved ones.

The Yes Men Kickstarter Page The Yes Men Are Revolting

Fast forward to just about a few weeks before Christmas, a group of community workers at La Union (Sunset Park) and OWS Making Worlds started a Indiegogo for Sandy relief for immigrants who were not covered by city relief fund. When you considering that the local immigrants where some of the first to come in and begin the work of cleaning up, without insurance without anything but the will to help, you would think they’d be able to raise some money, right?

But with only 14 days left, the immigrants fund put together by La Union from Sunset Park has been lingering just under $500 bucks. Meanwhile, as of November 30th, The Yes Men surpassed their goal and collected $146,006 for their film, amazingly so as this was during the many Sandy fundraisers. So how is this possible? What are the social and economic mechanisms behind these two campaigns that keep them miles apart?

I’m just reminded of something that someone tweeted during OccupySandy that asked, why are some of our community and social workers some of the most without? In this case, we might want to look at generosity in a different way, that is to see it as a measure of how much a person gives in relation to how much they take.

In any case, congratulations to the American heroes.

Sandy relief for Immigrants




Two Last Minute Events tonight…

TONIGHT 6-8pm, the last night to catch the Otto DIX show for FREE at the Neue Galerie, as part of First Fridays Free (normally $15/$10 students)… Otherwise it’s an amazing show of drawings, paintings, etching, by this prolific German artist caught between 2 world wars…

Neue Galerie : Otto Dix
Continue reading…

Consumed,Repurpose-Driven Life – NYTimes.com
“America’s shopping infrastructure is vast and abundant. That’s the problem.”

The above is an article in the New York Times about the shopping mall crisis in the USA mentions the photography of Julia Christensen (above) which documents the conversions of big-box stores in the Big Box Reuse book and BigBoxReuse website and a new book with research on the phenomenon called “Retrofitting Suburbia,” by Ellen Dunham-Jones…

A similar book worth mentioning is Rem Koolhaas and his students’ work at Harvard called “The Harvard Guide to Shopping” …if you can get your hands on a copy. $112 and up on Amazon. [We happened to read the intro to Koolhass' "S, M, L, XL" in Vito Acconci's "Aesthetics of Information class" (Spring 08) and we also read a criticism of his books by Hal Foster in Siebren Versteeg's "Workshop in Design History" (Spring 08)]

In regards to re-purposing and mix-use space, here is a film by an artist friend of mine Hatuey Ramos-Fermin, which documents a special mix-use space in Holland.

Coexistence: “Since the year 2000 this Latin American migrants pentecostal church shares their worship space with a ping pong club in Amsterdam. Each weekend they transform the space.”

Finally, this is a great little guide book from architects Atelier Bow-Wow in Japan called “Made in Tokyo“… It’s an index of all the uniqueness of Tokyo’s architectural condition: very little space…

Below are some rough ideas that surfaced during a discussion in my one and only design course this semester who’s function is to observe art and it’s relation to design, and vice-versa. Corrections and comments welcomed.

Above All there is Function.
If I had to (read had to) categorize something as being “art” or “design”, I would say that function is the first criteria that I would run it through. The more functional a thing is, the more it gets absorbed into the realm or design;  the less we can determine it’s function, the more it is swallowed by the realm of art. Don’t get me wrong, not everything is black and white, most of it is actually shades of gray… 20% art 70% design ( and 10% embellishment) Most of the time this function criteria will work, but there are two factors that greatly affect this criteria, each explained in the next paragraphs: 1. rationality (causes the equation flip), and 2. super-function (causes things to be indeterminable as art or design).


Keep You From Forgetting To Mail Your Wife's Letter - Rube Goldberg Contraption

1. The Rationality.
In relation to design, rationality can push a thing beyond it’s function, flipping it closer to the realm of art. An example would be a design that is too irrational like a Rube Goldberg contraption (above), or the opposite, something that too rational like Chindogu (below). While Rube Goldberg’s contraptions have a function, the method in which they go about functioning is too irrational – that becomes art. The Chindogu, like the Hay-Fever toilet paper hat below, which is too rational –of course you would want a roll of toilet paper on your head if you have a runny nose! –that becomes art too.

Hay Fever Hat-The all day tissue dispenser a Chindogu from International Chindogu Society

Hay Fever Hat-The all day tissue dispenser a Chindogu from International Chindogu Society

Rationality can also affect things that are normally labeled as art. When art is made rationally, that is it makes sense and is understood, I would say it is actually a design disguised as art, since all it’s parts are carefully strategized to have a function. I’m a big fan of Paul Rand who said you can’t make art, art is –if you’re lucky– a byproduct of what ever it is you are doing, be it design or washing dishes. Artist are the first to complain about this view, but I am not saying that making art is useless, but don’t be surprised or upset that the thing you finally create doesn’t feel like art, there is a possibility that another aspect of that thing –it’s byproduct– it the real art deal. I remember one of my teachers once saying he didn’t care for Brancusi’s sculptures but the pictures of the sculptures–now that was art to him!

Let’s look at the opposite, an irrational art piece can also made design by being explicated via text, or forced into having a function– then the work of art, with it’s function revealed, rationalized, or involuntarily assigned, becomes design than an art piece. Design, after all, comes from  Latin ‘to mark out’, (de- +signare), similar to designate (Latin past participle of designare Merriam-Webster). Therefor if you can designate a function to an art piece, it is design –you have ‘marked it out’, you have designed it! It is somewhat similar when the tables are turned: remove the function or a design, then it has the possibility of becoming art, that is of course, if it holds your interest. Without interest it is just a thing, neither art nor design.

Man-made and natural super-functions are illustrated in The Hitchhickers Guide to the Galaxy.

Man-made and natural super-functions are illustrated in The Hitchhickers Guide to the Galaxy.

2. The Super-Function.
Before talking about super-function, I want to clarify that by super I mean extreme or excessive quality –in both a positive and negative sense. The super-function arises when something has an incalculable amount of function and thus it’s state of being labeled art or design in indeterminable. In the extreme end of  super-function I am reminded of the question of the function of life as discussed in Douglas Adam’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. In this sci-fiction novel, humans attempt to answer the “ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything” eventually they do arrive at an answer, which is 42- duh!… Life, the Universe, and Everything, with it’s super-function is indeterminable. People often want to continue to discuss super-function of nature- forget it, it’s beyond us. The realms of art and design, for the sake of this essay, revolve only around man-made things.

[Side Note: The humans in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy don't actually come up with the answer "42" on their own, the actually design a computer called Deep Thought that took 7 ½ million years to come up with the answer to the "ultimate questions of life, the universe, and everything". In the end another computer has to be built in order to make sense of the answer. This new computer is actually Earth -a planet size computer, which is often mistaken for a planet because of it's size and use of life forms within it's "computational matrix". (So that's our function!?)]

What about Purpose or Intent?
Besides function, rationality, and super-function why don’t I consider “purpose” or “intent” of the artist or designers as factors? Because both “purpose” an “intent” are only the creators’ ideal state of being –either art or design. This  purpose only exists in the mind or in a situation where it’s purpose hasn’t been realized. And even once realized there are many factors that can change it’s state. For example when something has the intent or purpose of being a design, it cannot be determined as being design until it’s function is realized, only with a quantifiable degree of function can you then make a determination. Something that hasn’t been realized should not be confused with something that may never be realized, as the latter is possibly an indication of something that has a super-function as described mentioned above. Deep Thought, although it was designer to find the ultimate answers, it hasn’t proven to function, properly, there for it is not design. In the end it might actually be art, the computer “earth” might also be art, if it doesn’t solve the problem of what “42″ is.

The Art/Design Graph?
…hasn’t been sketched up yet, but hopefully someone someday will make it and all this babbling with become clear.

(although useless is not the right word to describe Chindogu, here it is, noted in a Design Boom article about the History of Useless Inventions.)

A few clips of interest, mostly of themes I have been thinking about. I’m not gonna discuss them, I want to keep opinion and sentiment at bay.

Walks in the West Bank

Walks in the West Bank

The Palestinian author Raja Shehadeh looks back on years of walks in the hills of the West Bank. (A video article by the New York Times on Raja Shehadeh, a Lawyer who represents Palestinians in Israeli Land  courts and the founder of Al-Haq, a human rights group, his latest book Palestinian Walks: Notes on a Vanishing Landscape is about changes in theWest Bank told through the 6 walks he has been doing in that area in the last 30 years.)

Waltz with Bashir (2008)

Waltz with Bashir (2008) (youtube trailer)
A new animated documentary film by Ari Folman that tells the story of the Isreali’s siege into Lebanon in 1982. The story is told through the directors attempt to piece together the haunting events of those tense months through memory, dreams, other soldiers accounts, and ultimately with real footage.
Waltz with Bashir -Youtube trailer
Waltz with Bashir -official website

Battle of Orgreave by Jeremy Deller. Documentary by Mike Figgis.

Battle of Orgreave (2001) by Jeremy Deller . Documentary by Mike Figgis.

The Battle of Orgreave was a re-enactment of one of the most violent confrontations of the 1984/5 miners strike, when police mounted a cavalry charge through the mining village of Orgreave in south Yorkshire. This documentary of the event is by Mike Figgis.
A Mike Figgis Film of Jeremy Deller’s The Battle of Orgreave performance. (<–this link will launch Windows Media player)
Jeremy Deller’s website. /ArtAngel info sheet.

Wild Seeds, 2005, by Yael Bartana (video still)  

Wild Seeds, 2005, by Yael Bartana (video still)

Just found out video artist Yael Bartana will be participating in the “Ours: Branding Democracy” exhibition at the Parsons/The New School. The Exhibition goes beyond the the gallery to include, panel discussions, presentations, charrettes with the students (open to public), and performances. I’ve read about Yael’s work and have seen some of here videos here and there. (youtube: Mary Koszmary)… Anyhow, this Sunday Oct 19th at 10a.m. Union Square, she will have students reenact her video Wild Seeds, 2005 (above still), in which itself is a reenactment of the removal of Israeli settlers in Occupied Territories. 

The exhibition has many other interesting events throughout the duration of the show.. Sam Durant will also be mock-protesting in Union Square with students… Liam Gillick produced a stage for delivering of presentations for the exhibition… etc… Ours: Democracy in the Age of Branding

p.s. Check out our calendar for more events like this and at petitemort’s Editor’s Picks

Performa TV 07 Nov 13, 2007 Ronnie Bass Telethon w/ Jeremy Eilers, Georgia Segri

I don’t know if you’ve been catching any of the Performa 07 performances running though out the city this month, just the other day a friend and I went to a radio performance of Stuart Bailey (a.k.a. Dexter Sinister) and Ryan Gander’s Appendix Appendix (pilot show) at Home Sweet Home, it was interesting, got too loud, etc…

Anyhoo~~ if you are interested there is a live (?) performance now on Performa TV, switch it on till midnight…it’s kooky.


Other Perfroma News, Ulla Von Brandenburg has an installation, La Maison, at Saatchi and Saatchi (275 Hudson) till this friday, she is also speaking at Goethe-Institut next Monday.

Next Performa TV events:

Tue. Nov.13 » 5pm-12am » Ronnie Bass Telethon w/ Jeremy Eilers, Georgia Segri and Nic Xedro

Wed. Nov. 14 » 9pm » Paolo Javier & Tim Peterson w/ Emmy Catedral, Ernest Concepcion, and Mike Estabrook

Thur. Nov.15 » 2pm » Snöfrid appears in the mirror