Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Detroit Industrial Projects

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Installation exhibit by Detroit artists Kevin Beasley, Miroslav Cukovic and Curtis Glenn

Kevin Beasely, Miroslav Cukovic and Curtis Glenn collaborate to transform and extend the gallery's raw, industrial essence into an installation reflecting their discoveries and experiences within the space.
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Where RichRichRich (RRR) left off, Detroit Industrial Projects (DIP) takes over. The space on the third floor of the Russell Building downtown is a small, raw room that the three artist have taken over and transformed into a living, changing work of art. Like RRR, DIP explores the act of making conceptual art that involves a keen eye for detecting what is art within the gritty room. I saw the piece as an industrial living space comprised of palette coffee tables, sectioned off bedroom with a packing air puff bed and nightlight glowing below a photograph of what looks like a fish but is two inverted toilets. I later learned the inspiration for the whole piece was the photograph, which makes sense after discovering minimal, sloppy fish paintings in the far corner and a fishing pole mounted to the wall near the entrance. I may not totally get the "fish" vision, but the space works as a whole. I talked with the director of DIP and it seems like this venue has much in store...and will even expand into a larger space within the Russell building. This is a spot to keep your eye on!
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Don't forget this sunday...ARTIST TALK: Sunday, December 10, 2-3pm
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Now, I am off to miami....so I might not be posting till sunday. Besides Basel there are a million art events going on, so I will have a busy week. I will certainly enjoy the warm weather!! Maybe I can hide out in miami for a while and avoid the winter! Oh, and don't forget Cranbrook's Forum opening this Friday, too!


Blogger John Azoni said...

the comments are scarce these days on the blog. I'm not going to say much because being on the other side of the ocean is sort of getting in the way of me seeing the show in person. But from the pictures, it seems like this kind of art is becoming commonplace at CCS, at least in this little clique. seems to have been past down from the "year of mike smith" as someone once described it. I like the idea of not being able to tell what is art and what isn't, but (again, can't really judge by pictures) the space just seems lacking. Why create a space that looks like you didn't create anything?

it would be nice to follow a discussion on this thread. where has everybody been these days?

4:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have no desire to defend the work by means of blog comments at this moment. What you asked is a perfectly legitimate question, though I think unfounded, possibly due to your not being able to experience the piece.

What bugs me though is what has happened with this Mike Smith shit. Firstly the legacy. The "year of Mike Smith" as you put it (yes taken from someone else, but still appropriated by you) did not become "the year of Mike Smith" until he got accepted to Yale and won the purchase award. Suddenly the Mike Smith some of us know and love turned into, as Gilbert put it, "Mike Smith who is at Yale". Hardly anyone actually remembers who he really is and who he was at school and though his work did cause some controversy he never owned CCS. He was just another senior like a lot of them and a lot of people really didn't like his work.

Second the influence. Some of us who did (and do) like his work where obviously influenced by certain aspects of it. None of us are interested in recreating it. Any group of artists who live and work together will be influenced by what they enjoy in other people's work. This is great. Better to be influenced by your contemporaries than by art superstars who are influencing the majority. Mike was and is influenced by others as well, some of whom were at CCS while he was there. The other thing that really pisses me off is that because of what was mentioned in point one, other people, namely though not exclusively, Ed Brown, who was and is doing work equally as exciting and who was and is equally an influence on me and others never gets mentioned in these sorts of bitter comments.

As far as "this kind of art" goes, I think we all knew that there were certain similarities to, specifically, the first RichRichRich show. It was a collaborative, largely space oriented, piece which manipulated some of the aesthetics already present in the space in order to fully transform it. But this is meerley the medium. I hear a lot of people are doing paintings too. New mediums, if left to themselves themselves, are worthless hooks intended to wow the ignorant.

Sorry if I sound a little high strung. I haven't eaten dinner and I just had a cup of coffee.

6:48 PM  
Blogger ericka layne said...

all i have to say is sad, sad, sad.

as someone who was in the space, i feel as though i am able to comment on this installation. john, as someone who was not there, you have no business even commenting on the piece, let alone the manner in which you chose to do so. it was incredibly counter productive and juvenile.

tisk tisk.

so, in the future, please do everyone a favor and refrain from sharing your ill-informed judgments and misconceptions that are founded in ignorance and petty, immature bitterness.

the pictures cannot and do not convey the power of this installation.
being present in the space, i was overcome by the atmosphere in the room. the collaboration that took place within the space resulted in a seamless, thoroughly captivating environment. every scrap of wood, every pipe, every light, every canvas and chord were engaged in quiet conversation, with room for interpretation and the opportunity for ideas to be lost in translation, and this was not only an option, but an act which was encouraged.

i was captivated by the integration of space and object. they were indistinguishable. it is the best work that i have seen in a long time, and it is people like curtis, kevin, miroslav, ed and mike "the year of" smith, that give me hope for an art scene that seems at times, to be comatose at its best.

curtis, kevin and miroslav; congratulations on a fabulous show.

9:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think azoni totally understands this shit. He is getting more and more conceptual.

10:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the dialog abounds!!

10:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Am I the only one that knows Tim Burke has the Detroit Industrial Gallery on Heidelberg? I figured the know it alls on here would of known that.

10:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

actually we do know about Tim Burke's "Detroit Industrial Gallery," but for those of us who have been paying attention already realize that Jeanette's space is called "Detroit Industrial Projects."

11:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm down with the azoni clique!!! The coolest clique of all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

3:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like that people who havent been to the space stil felt the need to comment on it. I also like penis. John knows what I'm talkin' about.I heard that in the bible Jesus got head from the twelve deciples. All at the same time. But then I'm over in America so I never really saw what happened over there in Jesusland.

Elizabeth XOXOXO (Blood of Christ)

3:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude, He's totally conceptual now. He know's his shit.

PS: It wasn't the twelve deciples it was the three wise men.

3:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think John Azoni is a coragous being and everyone else is a bunch of cowards. I am scared of the Azoni wrath. I also love penis.

Love Vince

3:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


6:28 AM  
Blogger Bloggmaster Freshy Fresh D said...

I love you guys...but take it easy on John...he's just trying to maintain some connections...he will be joining yall in studio next sem...


" I hear a lot of people are doing paintings too."
Fabulous quote!!

9:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mike smith is a great guy, and a good artist. i don't know why so many are going apeshit over this type of work. it's become part of the established lexicon. from klein and his empty gallery to pistoletto with his clothes-strewn bike (remember mike's vacuum?), to more recently martin creed's crumpled paper on a pedestal to his empty room (watch the lights go on and off), to a gallery simply carpeted in orange shag. it's like saying an artist can't do video cause someone else did. leave them alone already. let the juices flow where they will.

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jesus couldn't have gotten head from the three wise men, he was only 2-3yrs old at the time of the Epiphany. Well, I mean, I guess he COULD have, but... ew. Then again, maybe that's why it's called the "epiphany"?

I think you're all being a little hard on poor John, though his comments were a little over the top he did mention a few times that he was trying to stir up debate. Furthermore, if you're only allowed to comment on something here if you've actually seen it... then there's no point in Ann struggling w/ photobucket to post all these pictures, is there?

Being on the opposite side of the continent (not the ocean) but having seen the last RRR installment when I was home in August, and looking at these pictures, I have to say that the DIP project looks more appealing, more thoroughly conceived, and just in general seems to work better. And completely differently than RRR. I don't remember an attempt to make a recycled livingspace or anything like that at the RRR installations: that was more an attempt to make a recycled gallery space: which seems like a vastly different intention, if executed in a similar aesthetic (which is not limited or invented by Mike Smith). But, again, I only saw one RRR show in person. And it might be that DIP had access to (what looks like) a more interesting space to begin with.

And why are you all hung up on the whole Yale thing? I mean, Rory Gilmore went there, too, but nobody’s hating on the WB. Mike Smith was making art before he went to Yale and (gasp) before he went to CCS, too. I’d guess he would be making art if he’d never gone to school, and will be making it long after. I would think that artists would be hung up far less on academic accolades since the world of art and the world of academics are at their essence incongruous and so one does not reflect the other accurately.

1:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yo' John. Word to your mama on her day of birth.

6:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

show looks incredible
way better than any shit mike smith ever did. his shit is whack - he sold out and is making yuppy performance art at yale!! fuck mike smith, long live keurtlov!!!

you guys banged it and i can't wait to see in person - much love from "who?.."

yellow floor is killin em'
so good so good - so good to see the studios over there - really happy you guys are bangin'

10:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this talking has to stop, the signs are there, wars may be raging, vast land hidden, under the wind and stars, as you fucking cry and yell at the wind for preceding a similar wind, as you kill a man for asking such ridiculous things of you, as we all think
"only our opinion right"



10:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Jones!

12:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This discussion is old, i know, but I will add my $.02 anyway. My personal opinion is to be increasingly bored and uninterested with art produced only for the pleasure of other artists. There may be a shared language but it all seems so incestuous and self important. Lexicon. . . . . whatever. I wish we didn't have a common language to talk certain kinds of art some days, because then perhaps it would seem fresh, and I could struggle with words to describe it. I don't have that problem in this case.

9:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You could try describing it in Portugese, anyways, just to experience the struggle you're missing. But then there are always those easily accessible online translaters, so that might defeat the purpose.

10:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am really intrigued with this work for a moment, then incredibly confused, then clarity comes again. Does this make sense to anyone?

I suppose that at best this is a re-working of Duchampian points of view about ordinary objects and mundane situations having beauty or at least being worthy of notice......or at worst, a Where's Waldo kind of situation, with 'art aspect' being the Waldo.

These artist do seem to be a part of a specific CCS circle....is there anyone else out there doing this?

10:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah......tyree guyton. these are heidelberg project objects without the bright color and polki dots

not that there is anything wrong with that

10:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is perfectly accessible to the larger public. One can see almost exactly how everything was made and there is no hidden "art" language behind it. This is not conceptual work and it also has no intention of being beautiful.

I wish John Cage hadn't told everyone how he was producing his pieces. The public, so interested in the "how", made it the "why".

11:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you are being incredibly naive when you say there is 'no hidden art language' or that it is 'perfectly accessible to the larger public'. The "larger public" will in no way see this as art.....they will compare it to refuse, trash, discards.

I fear that the layperson will interpret this as just another situation where the elitist artist is speaking only to their own, and is pulling the wool over the eyes of the "larger public". Without some sort of descriptive document to lead the way, the average person is left out in the cold.

11:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand that the larger public is conditioned to approach art as an industry in which the value (or more specifically, the asking price) of the work is as important as what the work is. In order to please a public of this kind, one has to first agree with them and following this "wow" them by doing something they can easily perceive as "difficult" and "impressive".

What I mean by this work being accessible to the larger public is that all that is necessary in order to understand the work is a sense of exploration. All the public needs to do is look. They need not know anything about the history of art in order to find interest in it.

However, I have no interest in personally "educating" the masses by attempting to remove their culturally installed blocks of vision.

Also, people who look do not only exist in the art world. Although artists are often taught to look, there are many who continue not looking and many people outside the artist culture who do.

I see that when a work like this is not recognizable (a good sign I believe) one could decide that the work is merely trash (although the majority of the materials could have easily been purchased in a department store). There is an interesting play with language happening here. One artist takes something that is called trash and moves it to an environment which instills the piece with a new descriptor "this is more than what it was". One member of the public approaches, does not recognize this piece in terms of his/her previous notions of art and value and denies the second descriptor. This member of the public is correct in the same way that it is correct to say that Michelangelo's David is a big rock.

On the idea of producing a piece of writing in order to "lead" the viewer, there is no hidden concept and because of this if one were to point anything out it would seem to become the concept and the viewer would have no need to look.

It's very altruistic of you to encourage work for the masses but the public doesn't really like art. The public likes movies. I don't want to make art that looks like movies.

12:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG! Did you hear what happened? The janitor at the Russell Industrial Center mistakenly "cleaned up" the exhibition!!! The work, however, is still on display until early Wednesday morning. Just go around to the back of the building.

12:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

curtis, in reading your post over a few times the overwhelming sense I get is one of simmering contempt for the "public". Reread your first paragraph. Do you not understand that the reason the public may have this attitude is a direct result of the lack of arts education on almost all levels? You say that all they have to do is 'look'....but if one doesnt have the basic lexicon to interpret a situation, how are they to begin to understand what is challenging even for those who are a part of the cognoscenti?

Now read your last paragraph......"the public doesn't really like art. The public likes movies. I don't want to make art that looks like movies"....

I guess if you and your collegues want to spend your lives making work that pushes certain envelopes, you are well within your rights to do so. But please acknowledge that the depth and breadth of your educational backgrounds in large part brought you to this point. The majority of the 'public' that you so subtlely condemn have not had the benefit of this, and cannot be expected to automatically grasp the nature of your dialogue without some sort of guide.

If you do not want to supply this, that is certainly also within your rights, as you feel it may clutter up your installation.....but, hey, why not print something up and strew it around the floor as a part of the piece?

1:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


... and yet you and everyone else *has* failed to describe it (at least in terms beyond silly age old duchampian ?'s of what is art). i completely sympathize w/ your frustrations and critisisms and feel they are in need of attention - what i find to be problematic is that the weight of the issue is allways thrust upon the art/artist - we need to find ways to come together and to speak in tongues. criticality and other academic aspects of art converstion only serve to extend the possibilities of meaning. In essence and at base we will allways be offering a visual field open to infinite possibilities through interaction. the artist/public devide in my opinion is but one symptom of a fractured specialized modern world where we all exsist in relation to our arms reach.

good work mirrors/translates/distills etc.. the complexity of the world it exists in.

as for shared language/bordom and indifference - these are personal problems - im sorry you're having trouble finding meaning and substance in the modalities of our lifes work. maybe you need to get out of detroit. From experience it seems to intensify irritation w/ the lack of culture in a social sphere. Detroit is a sad devistated environmet that i feel the strongest and most determined socialy motivated artists have difficulty navigating. thank god some do.


p.s. for any artists wishing to feed their practice w/ social interaction there are a myriad of activities that exsist in the public realm in shared neutral environments - go there and talk about art, educate and be educated.

2:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Annie- I completely disagree when you say that the "larger public" will in no way see this as art. If anything (to me) it seemed too obviously... current. It easily appeals to the same pre-faded jeans fettish that is all the rage right now. I could see a lot of young hipsters being superficially drawn to this. And viewing that gravitation as positive or negative speaks more to your second point: the undercurrent of contempt of the "public" and the "boys club" artist environment (not gender-bound, but the whole "we've gone to art school so obviously we understand AND deserve art more than those other people" which is prevalent on this board beyond just Curtis' comments. On that note...

Curtis: "to remove their culturally installed blocks of vision" I think you have the impetus here backward. I don't think that there are cultural blocks, but a cultural lack of attention that leads toward apathy. These are very different statements, because your version implies that you have to overcome some type of prejudice (the public doesn’t like art), whereas what I have found is that the public is looking for an invitation. Art just isn’t a very welcoming institution. So, do you blame the public for that?

But, to bring my comment full-circle (back to Annie) I would like to put out this idea for your consideration: Re: “Do you not understand that the reason the public may have this attitude is … etc.” Is it possible that the reason the public may have this attitude is because the arts community foists upon them the concept that they have to HAVE an education to appreciate art? My opinion would be that the “boys club” ideology that even you purport (that only arts educated can appreciate art) is a reflection of Art Schools--- not fact, not the idealism of “. And that, more than anything, works to deter “the public” from approaching art, discussing art, learning more about art. If I think that the DIP is breathtaking simply based upon the fact that it appeals to my innate aesthetic, and not due to a lexicon of artspeak (Duchamp, etc) is that not valid enough? Furthermore, isn’t it an emotional reaction vs. a intellectual reaction usually the goal? Or at least a goal?

Is that the artists’ responsibility? If not, then whose? Do they have to take up that responsibility? Do any of us have to take up any responsibility? No. But are the consequences if we don’t? Well. All I can say is that in my experience the same artists who go to lengths to alienate the public often are also found complaining about how artists can’t make a living making art…

2:53 PM  
Blogger Bloggmaster Freshy Fresh D said...

ok...so all this talk is kinda funny...so Here's me...I feel that I can come from 2 sides, although I may suck at both of them, im going to try...I hate art, and im an artist. What bothers me about art is all thats been said, mainly the stuff about the closed circle of art and artist that need a "lexicon" to understand art. Which is often true, but as far as im concerned, that is capital "A" Art bullshit.

I'm not generly inclined towards this "type of work"( sorry to use that term), because it has always appeared to be the opitime of the capital "A." But these were some friends of mine, so I spent some time in there.

The only thing that art school has given me to deal with this work was a disdain for Art. So I decided to just look and observe as much as possible, cause I like these guys. I started to notice things and did not even think about Art. Just the space. Just the stuff in it. Thats all. I made loose connections between things but that was about all. Now Im writing a paper on it, and I am starting to think I really liked the exhibition. So if your rinterested in more of what I have to say, somthing a little more informative and formal, maybe ill post it somewhere.

Imagine some "non-art person" trying to read this blog shit...

4:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


a witty but simplistic web of reason

no one foists anything - give an example!!! stop the empty blanket claims. the only people threatened by these artists or any unconventional works submitted on this blog are other artists. the public is not pushed away - no one cares to go to museums or galleries/ not because of art but because of movies and television (arts antithesis = entertainment also "the spectacle and it's all pervasive indoctrinating effects on the individuals directly lived and meaningful life) - if anything educational systems and institutions are the last remaining hope that your "public" will wake and be thirsty for substance.

absurd - art is not an institution

no one is going to any lengths to alienate the public.

the public - what is this "public"?

this imaginary world of us and them - foolish - you create and perpetuate the seperation.

historically valued artworks and movements have challenged and confronted first and formost Arts conception of itself - a regular and primary function of art is to ? if not challenge. Obviously your so called "public" will find it challenging if not uninviting.

i think what a majority of you are requesting is pleasure and entertainment. a graspable and easily digested form and content as to not upset anyones fragile relationship to self and knowledge.

to all sloppy thinkers - change professions - the aethetic is in service of meaning not pleasure

this moronic labeling of the "boys club" does incredible damage to the very small and passionate community of artists here in detroit struggling to understand their place. with the slightest of hand you have now genderized this ignorant and inbred discussion that potentially seperates a group of students and working artists in the community.

these issues are larger and more complex than simplistic notions of audience attendance and institution. again these are of the variety of medium not goal.

please make work - challenge your own eyes - work for the audience of yourself, what you see when you step back and look. make this the mark to which we measure our success and the rest will follow.

4:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mike jones presents interesting ideas but seems a bit extreme.

why Mr. Jones do you adorn your arguments w/ the sharp embittered spikes of anger like - morronic, ingnorant, simplistic and inbred?

do you not realize you are only causing those that may actually listen to your comments to defend and reject your thoughts simply because of tone?

it's also interesting to consider that you present a quite simple argument against "simplistic thought" and do very little to enlighten us about what is so complex.

just some thoughts

p.s. i still love your music -

"still tippin"

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


5:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Jones! what I would expect from someone who writes lyrics limited to their own name: the Josh Smith of hiphop. It's easy and incredibly two-dimensional to say people don't go to art because they're going to movies. These are not mutually exclusive.

Blogmaster Freshy Fresh D: I am the "non-art person trying to read this blog shit" that you refer to. No visual arts education whatsoever, though I do write lame poetry once in a while. It rhymes. The best poetry rhymes.

But, my un-arts-educated opinion is simplistic, ignorant(sic), and moronic. I don't know why I said the non-arts "public" might feel unwelcomed by the art community. (AND, for the record, I said "boys club" followed directly by a Parenthetical Statement that stated I didn't mean "boys club" as a gender classification, but was referring to cliquish elitism).

5:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...please acknowledge that the depth and breadth of your educational backgrounds in large part brought you to this point."

To a certain degree I can agree with this, in that my process of looking has developed by means of my interest in exploring the act of looking in which I have self educated myself by viewing art, reading and experimentation. If you mean to imply that it is my education at CCS that has "given" me this approach to viewing I would say that it has done so only very indirectly in that learning the history of ways of viewing art, general art history being a series of absolute value systems debunking eachother, has helped me to acknoledge those value systems as having become presently the various systems of art viewing most present in "the public", examine them, disagree with them based on logic and rejct them.

This connects to my earlier comment on removing culturaly established obstacles. Those obstacles are these absolute value scales which are based on ill-logic and/or dogmatic mysticsm. Current art viewing culture has not rejected them as irelevant but has instead (in a New Age-y kind of way) decided that they are all equally valid, which is to refute their universality but hold on to the absolutism.

It does take an individual interest in order to examine and identify the practices of looking that have been established by culture. My feeling is that if those of us keep making what we want to see, those who have any sense of the explorer left in them will figure out that if there are people who find certain works interesting which do not conform to those previous value structures than there may be cause to examine and debunk them. I do think human beings to be products of their experiences (primarily cultural) and so I condemn no one based on any mystic idea like free will but I don't feel it is my responsiblity to instill the interest in looking in those that don't have it. I have no expectation of making a living doing this. It will be a pleasant suprise if it happens.

One of the most prevelant versions of these structures is the conceptual one. After conceptual art, everyone wants to "get it". If there isn't a pamphlet being handed out at the door, if there aren't information cards hanging next to the work, there is no one thing to "get". It's not a trick. The only thing that signifies it as a trick is that it rejects earlier forms of judgement. Conceptual art did the same but created a new system based on the "idea" which was invisible. It makes sense that viewers may assume the work to be conceptual in that traditional sense because of this, but I have little interest in handing out pamphlets at the door which explain that there is no sacred idea. Enough people understand that already for me to feel I can show the work and have it be satisfactorily recieved. Awareness will grow through debates like this.

Mike Jones,
Outer space hates a spectacle. It's nice to know that, you know?

6:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also agree with Mr. Jones on the institution bit. There are "art institutions". Art is not an institution.

6:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, and on bitterness. My bitterness is directed at certain states of afares and not (usually) at any individual in particular.

6:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its so funny how images of something do not provide enough information in order for people to "look". I don't know about anyone else but i consider myself to be a part of the so called "public." Just because I attend an institution for higher education doesn't make me more human than anyone else.

As beings, we are given the ability to utilize our senses in order to experience the world and everything within it. Its up to each individual to use their senses how they want to. Seeing that a person is black or dark skinned doesn't mean you're actually looking at that person. Looking consists more of the experience, more of the whole, and making mental connections to what you are seeing. If you were looking in what would now be considered an "unconvetional" way according to art, you'd see that that person has a nose, brown eyes, 2 hands with 9 fingers, a smile with only one dimple, short straight hair, and all of his/her teeth. They breathe, eat, sleep, and shit just like I do. A simple conclusion made, based off of looking. Now let that person's voice utter one word to you and only then would you even begin to experience.

Unfortunately, for some time now, the public has had trouble with looking at things, people, nature, etc., and accepting them for what they are. I would hope that art hasn't become so precious (due to monetary reasons, art auctions, etc.) and filled with art elitists who use fancy historical art figures to explain art that we can't accept this kind of work that completely defies all of the "preciousness." Segregated art communities are not the way the go. The establishments within the "artworld" have already alienated the public. DIP was free, there were no price tags to make you feel like shit, and we even gave out donuts, water, and cheap beer.

8:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

maybe ann should invest in some equipment for panoramic photography, atleast this way your view is not entirely filtered by another artist.


true experience is firsthand, not secondhand.

9:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You see, it is kind of like sex. You don't know what it is like unless you have been inside.

10:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...so to all of you virgins, you better get over there and experience it.

10:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was really anxious to see this environment and to go to the lecture. Then I read these posts. Now I am not particularly moved to do either.

8:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am going shopping this weekend

8:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"so, in the future, please do everyone a favor and refrain from sharing your ill-informed judgments and misconceptions that are founded in ignorance and petty, immature bitterness."

hmmm...not sure where you're getting any of that out of my questions about the piece here ericka. As someone who can't see the show, I felt interested enough to get other people's opinions on the show, and to try to keep up with what my friends and fellow collegues are doing back home.

Ann- thanks so much for your hard work on posting pictures for people to see shows that they can't get to, and still be able to somewhat keep up on the Detroit scene.

12:17 PM  
Blogger Bloggmaster Freshy Fresh D said...

Curtis, you are amazing!!

1:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel it necessary to thank ann also for posting the images and supplying a forum for discussion about art, especially in the detroit area. I just wish that there was a general understanding that these are just images and in no way do they recreate the space, as with most documentation. Therefore any response to the work, by individuals who haven't visited, is based off of details and not the work as a whole, and for those who are in a position where it is impossible to experience, such as you John, and I don't fault you for that.

When paintings and sculptures are photographed and posted, Ann doesn't take pictures of only the details, the brushstroke in the left corner, the little brush hair in the right, etc. She gets pictures of the entire painting or sculpture. With works like this, she tries her best but even she knows, she cannot capture everything because it is not meant to be.

I guess this discussion would be more fulfilling if the statements being made were followed by a willingness to understand the work and not so quick to reject it. As someone who wasn't born with the knowledge of art history, there were times in my growing up when abstract paintings weren't art to me, needless to say, I was born in this culture that has established obstacles for itself. But through an openmind, growth, and by asking critical questions I recognized the barriers and am gradually turning my back on them because I am given the freedom to attempt to revolt against and change any establishment of mankind.

I guess this can parallel the state of our country and its citizens. We think so highly of the establishments in our government we treat the people who run it as superhuman just because they are well educated and have tons of money. Granted, SOME can be respected but let us find a politician who can relate on a more humanistic level. Very few can argue against Barack Obama.

2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The talks seem to be very heated and long winded here. but I guess I'll join in in a somewhat dumbed down way. I don't see how this is art for artists in anyway. If anything artists seem to be the ones dismissing it before they experience it.

If I took my Mom to this show I believe she would appreciate the space and look around at all the exciting little surprises and just simply enjoy the same way she enjoys walking in a park. Yes, she may have a hard time accepting it as art but that's also true for abstract paintings. Who cares if it's art, as long as it's effective in some way.

As trained artists we do have a grater ability to figure out how and why the space works. Iconic reads, formal relations, etc... But the viewer doesn't have to be conscious of the whys for the piece to work. In fact it's much more enjoyable if you're not trying to analyze everything.

3:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...depth and breadth of your educational backgrounds..." Forgive me if I'm not impressed that you earned a bachelor's at a third rate art college and you think that's the end of your education. Maybe get back to me when you're able to get into a bar without a borrowed ID.

11:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what third rate art college are you referring to?

5:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"borrowed ID"? Any art student not crafty enough to engineer their own fake ID isn't worth a damn. Then again, we are talking about a third rate art school.

6:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

kevinb: I think you have put up some of the best posts on this site. I enjoyed reading them. Also, I think that it is understood that the images ann posts do not replace seeing any of the work first hand.

Curtis: I don't think that you can argue that art is not an institution. Art is a cultural institution, integrated in various incarnations with all the rest of our cultural institutions (familial indentification, social mores, etc, etc, etc. ) Anthropology. 101. I guess you could argue what that means (and maybe we have different definitions of "Institution", and I probably shouldn't have abbreviated off the "cultural" part). But Art is one of those items considered a "human universal" meaning that it exists in some fashion in all cultures at all times. A cultural institution. Hence, the field of modern and archaic Aesthetic Anthropology.

The point does and doesn't have any bearing on the more significant aspects of this discussion. But since you and the always-eloquant Mr. Jones were so emphatically resistent to the terminology, I thought I'd make a semantics side-note for the record.

11:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Art just isn’t a very welcoming institution."

I must admitt my ignorance on the definitions of these terms but there is something that's always rubbed me wrong about refering to art as an institution. I think the reason lies in this type of statement. Art is not a whole thing in the same way that the human race is not a whole thing in the same way that a bunch of marbles on the floor is not a whole thing. Words that categorize parts as a whole are abstract, in that the whole is merely a way of refering to all of the parts.

If one takes a "whole" term and applies to it specifics, in order for this to have relevance at all, the specifics have to apply either to all parts of the whole or at least to the vast majority. The use of the term "Art as an Institution" seems largely irrelevant as very few specifics can span the full range of individual art experiences. There are many specific institutions, if I can say that. The reason I am attempting to say this is to ask that you narrow down your paradigm significantly. Be specific about who is unwelcoming. The vast majority of art being produced could easily be argued to be very welcoming. Most art fairs, most craft fairs, most local galleries display art for the majority viewer.

I would guess (I may be wrong) that when you use the term "institution" when refering to art, you are refering to what some might call "high art". Please be more specific. If so, we can discuss that. I would say that the DIP show makes no claim to be associated with anything outside of itself. The gallery having no history, all associations with unwelcoming institutions are made by the viewer.

2:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would be a very tiring world if we could make no sweeping statements. Imagine, trying to impress upon someone the concept that "fast food is unhealthy", but you'd have to make literal exceptions for the salads at Wendy's and so your word count would go from 4 to 4-thousand as you listed specifically which foods (or even parts of foods) are unhealthy at which fast food restaurants, and what constitutes a “fast food restaurant”. It's a fun issue of semantics (and I've taken your position in the past, being a writing major for a long time, but at some point you have to bow to the reality of communication. Words themselves are abstract: not some words, but ALL words. So, to say "art institution" is more or less abstract than "pie" would signal a deep lack of appreciation for the complexity of language, and it's imprecise system of descriptors. That we can only communicate because we agree to agree that syllables MEAN a certain thing… when in reality there is no real meaning in language, only the reflection of said agreement. Fascinating.

But- yes, for the record, I made the assumption from the get-go that the conversation was limited to the realm of Fine Art (or High Art, though I always thought that sounded clunky and inelegant so I never use it) because on this board it always is. (personally, I like the differentiation of Art with a cap-A, vs. art with a lower-case A. Like in "Wicked". animal vs. Animal. The difference being cognoscence, so that might actually be a good reference.) I mean, I can’t think of a time when Ann has covered the local craft show (“art fair”), and I can’t pinpoint many (if any) Industrial or Graphic designers participating. So, of course, we’re talking about Fine Art. I think, just maybe, you might be being a little overly belligerent just for the sake of it. But I wouldn’t want to be the pot, OR the kettle. There are words that rub me the wrong way, for no rational reason whatsoever.

But this topic, really, has been beaten to death. It's fun to rehash every once in a while, but I wonder what the point is: if anything could be said to acheive an "ah" moment for anyone, everyone here seemingly so staunchly entrenched in...? :-)

4:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blood of Christ

12:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


3:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

m. - that's because all the design majors you mention got jobs when they graduated and have better things to do than blog about meaningless shit.

10:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ehwn why are you here?

10:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my point exactly. how do you expect to make a living when you can't even type a coherent sentence?

4:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

meaningless? fuck off, ok. if artists were more concerned about money rather than intellectual dialogue and creative freedom, they'd be designers-beaatch. :::insert gang sign here:::

1:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you think their not concerned with money? come on now.

they all eat, buy beer, gas for the car, tuition. The money has to come from somewhere, and we would have heard about it if they were sticking up party stores.

the integrity of this art stems from the fact that it is the true fruit of their aesthetic curiosity and is as naturual for them to do this as it is to breathe.

observe the lilies of the field, they toil not, yet they thrive.....

9:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

word, well of course they're concerned with money, but obviously its not their first concern as say with an industrial designer or grphic designer. Just look at who each artist or designer is trying to make their work appeal to. majority of artists do it for two kinds of people, first- themselves, and second- the public who looks at the art, collectors and big money pushers are bonus points. dis kinda work keeps it on da real.

11:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

leave da party store stick ups to me.

11:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey! There are 25 other letters in the alphabet. I didn't realize I'd made m. so popular.

I can't believe you're humoring the anon-designer who is obviously just trying to get your goat with his/her 2-dimensional limitations of imagination (stereotypes).

But I have to say, I am dissapointed (imposter-m.) by your equally 2-dimentional stereotypes. Who do you think that designers are making work for, if not the same public? (or, gasp, maybe a more-inclusive view of the "public"). Why do you think that they care only for money, first? That's ridiculous. If they really cared about money first, they wouldn't be designers or in the art field at all. They'd be car salespersons.

10:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dammit m. I quit, you do have very good points and i was out of line for saying 'first', but i know very few designers who design to change the way design is percieved and change the trends in the industry. Most conform to a specific way of doing it in order to fit in, keep their job and cater to the audience-to get their money, not to challenge them to think. This is because of the industry and the fact that most designers want to work for corporations that pay well, provide benefits, and have opportunities for moving up in the ranks, everyone would love this but some choose this over creative freedoms their own intuition and personal drive to make challenging art. There may be designers like that, but i would guess (because i'm an imposter and not the real thing) that the percentage is very low if you could even find the percentiles in this situation.

11:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

imposter, You could say the same about the fine art field: "but i know very few (artists) who change the way (art) is perceived and change (challenge) the trends in the industry (yes, the FINE ART INDUSTRY). Most conform to a specific way of doing it in order to fit in, keep their (commissions) and cater to the audience-to get their money, not to challenge them to think. "

I mean, Thomas Kinkaid would be an extreme and laughable example, but what about the soft sculpture show which has been described as merely a variation on a contemporary theme (I didn't see it myself). There are very few, honestly, completely new ideas (if any). (Furthermore, what might have been termed "deviant art" like DIP is the new "in" anyway). This is the same in writing, art, design... what there is is a slow evolution, and what is interesting to me about Industrial Design specifically is the way designers have to manipulate the imperfect corporate system to transform the utilitarian things we surround ourselves with into pieces as aesthetically pleasing as the art we also surround ourselves with. (Uh-hem, IPOD). Artists don't have to compete so directly w/ the corporate world (though I would argue that the Art Institution being comprised of galleries, commodification, merchandising, is a corporate system.. still, one which is more sympathetic to aesthetic than, say, an electronics component producer where the designer has to fight against the gravity of engineers, budget, feasibility to eek art out of the system, etc. Really, Designers are out there fighting the good fight for aesthetics just like the career Fine Artists. Arguably, they have the underdog fight: all art has to do is hang on a wall (pedestal, etc.), but the Industrial Designer has to make the blender beautiful… and still functional. And, like I said, I think that the corporate pressure is heavier on designers than fine artists.

I guess my point is that anyone can crave the benefits of “good pay, benefits, etc.” I heard of some CCS Fine Arts majors graduating in 06 grabbing at Color and Trim jobs at one of the Big Three. Is this any different? And then, which is more disappointing: the fine artist who gives up sculpture/painting/etc for the cushy corporate perks, or the designer who is working in the industry they set out to work in?

That’s my defense of the design world. They really should be available to defend themselves. I think, though, that in a lot of ways CCS feeds a culture that divides the Fine Arts side from the Design side of things, and breeds jealousy/resentment/paranoid. That’s unfortunate. It’s almost like institutionalized distaste and no wonder why: just look at the campus’ buildings.

Thank you, Imposter, for breathing life into a dull thread. However, we seem to have fallen off the main board and thus this discussion is doomed anyway! :-)

12:56 PM  

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