Unfolding the Archive Review

Sarah Carne Sculpture

Installation shot of “I’m Looking for Barbara” by Sarah Carne. Image by writer

There is something quite apt about making an artist’s book in response to an archive – beyond the more obvious similarities of physical format. Both sit in the traditional sense as prescript systemisations, located on the periphery of art making; they are often awkward realms where old material is circled or shoehorned.  Continue reading

Playing to the Gallery

Playing to the Gallery Grayson Perry

Images from “Playing to the Gallery” by Grayson Perry. Photo taken by writer

Playing to the Gallery is the published and polished version of Grayson Perry’s Reith lectures. Whilst the BBC Radio 4 talks are widely acclaimed in the media, Perry is, to some extent, a dividing figure. The Turner prize winner has been the go-to presenter of Channel 4 art programmes for several years, a highly exposed and irreverent middleman between notions of the gallery and the general British public. Continue reading

Beverly Pepper: Monumenta


Beverly Pepper’s catalogue Monumenta opens with an introduction by art historian and curator Robert Hobbs, “Beverly Pepper: Time as Space,” in which he situates Pepper’s work within the critical context provided by Henri Bergson, André Malraux, and Walter Benjamin. The continuum of time and space and their indivisibility are apparent in Pepper’s works, which are often monumental—if not in size, in presence—and integrated with their surroundings, the materials of the sculptures interacting and changing with their environment over time. Continue reading

Art and fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking


This is a book about making art. Ordinary art. Ordinary art means something like: all art not made by Mozart.” – From the introduction of Art and fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking.

What makes being an artist so different from any other profession? Artists have a skill (or maybe even talent) and they strive to make a living using it – isn’t that what everybody does? But somehow, it is very different. Perhaps it’s the personal nature of artistic vision or the culture of celebrity. It turns out, according to David Bayles and Ted Orland in Art and fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking, learning to survive as an artist has less to do with skill or talent than it does with our willingness to face our fears over and over again. Continue reading

International Collection of Essays About Kinetic Art | Volume 1

kinetic-featureThe idea of kinetic art is getting a bit of a workout at the moment. MIT Museum recently hosted  “year of kinetic art, including “5000 Moving Parts,” a kinetic art exhibiton featuring large-scale works by Arthur Ganson, Anne Lilly, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer and John Douglas Powers. Plus the Kinetic Art Organization has published a digital “International Collection of Essays About Kinetic Art—2013—volume 1.” The two don’t overlap: The MIT show highlights a somewhat different segment of artists working with motion in sculpture, 4 names, some of whom owe more to Yves Tinguely and Calder’s Circus than Calder’s mobiles and George Rickey (the primary influences for many if not most of the artists in the KAO book. Continue reading

Scott Burton: Collected Writings on Art and Performance, 1965–1975

In Scott Burton: Collected Writings on Art and Performance, 1965–1975, David J. Getsy, professor of art history at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, has anthologized Burton’s eclectic criticism of the ‘60s and ‘70s. Before Burton received recognition for his sculpture and public works, he was a prolific critic of art and performance, as well as a curator and editor for ARTnews and Art in America. Continue reading

Artists Reclaim the Commons: New Works / New Territories / New Publics

headernbFollowing The New Earthwork: Art, Action, Agency, published last year by ISC Press, Artists Reclaim the Commons makes the case for art as a driving force behind efforts to reimagine human relationships and the built environment. Far from advocating any one genre of public art, this book features a range of project types, from innovative campus programs and biennials to participatory performances and political protests. Art can take to the streets in any number of ways—regardless of approach, the selected projects all share a willingness to work outside of and/or across discrete public art typologies, using institutional frameworks at will, for instance, or blending high-profile status with small-scale, local activism. Continue reading


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