Posts by: Ari Messer

Today’s Weather

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Right now New York is calm, and this of course feels eerie. It’s a good time to catch the last weekend of Today’s Weather at Sit and Read in Williamsburg. Zero1 Magazine just ran my catalog essay for the exhibition. The gallery recently posted an awesome time-lapse video of the artists at work and a […]

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I Follow Dead People

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Know who’s now on Twitter? Arthur Miller, Sylvia Plath, the BFG, and even Behemoth, the black cat from The Master and Margarita. It’s all a part of Reorbit, a “reanimation of historical and literary figures.” The full list of characters is here. I happen to be tweeting as Eleazar Albin, the 18th-century natural history illustrator […]

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Gabi on the Roof in July (in San Francisco)

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Tonight is the final screening of Gabi on the Roof in July at the San Francisco Indiefest. If you’ve seen Tiny Furniture, you’ll appreciate that both movies feature hipster hamster’s that die unexpectedly. But Gabi‘s hamster could beat up Tiny‘s. Made by young Brooklyn filmmaking couple Lawrence Michael Levine (director, character of “Sam,”) and Sophia […]

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Lovely Faces

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“Welcome to the only dating site that lists real people, sincerely posting their real data and picture. You’ll feel comfortable watching them. Just like in Facebook.” To construct Lovely Faces, the third column in their phenomenal Hacking Monopolism Trilogy, which began with Google Will Eat Itself and Amazon Noir, Paolo Cirio and Alessandro Ludovico borrowed […]

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Ari Messer: The Last Book I Loved, Ablutions

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Why is the second person such a natural and addictive tense–perhaps the only honest one–when writing about drug abuse and a foggy recovery? For years, you haven’t been able to stop asking this question. Reading Patrick deWitt’s Ablutions: Notes for a Novel, you are asking it again, vocally (a real dinner-party silencer), by mistake or […]

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Chordal Wheeling

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There are geeks, there are music geeks, and then there are the chordal crusaders, the modal moradeurs. In their own words, “powerambient” band Chord summons the feeling “of a single note being rendered into an unsolvable riddle–a harmonic Gordian knot that creates an almost pastoral feel of being blinded by the sun.” At Brooklyn’s Issue […]

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Drinking the Network Electric

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The only literary event more cloying than a boring reading is a networking event without alcohol. The Faster Times, “a new type of newspaper for a new type of world,” is out to remedy this situation in the same way they’ve been smartly remedying sickened news models. Saturday night in New York, they’re hosting Drink […]

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Men with Balls

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“This show is an act of complete personal indulgence. When the good people at apexart approached me about curating something in their space, they made a huge mistake. After some polite back and forth, Steven Rand said to me directly, ‘We’d like you to do something that reflects your passion.’ I responded, ‘Well, football or […]

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In the Art Rags

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Rollo Press is continuing the slowest book swap in the world. The often-thrilling little outfit has been playing around lately with Linus Bill, a photographer who has taken to silkscreening because, he tells Interview, “Until I made those silkscreens, I was never satisfied with how my work looked as prints….With the silkscreens, you really work […]

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I’m Still an Animal

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I was actually glad to hear “Animal” on the new 90210 last week. The second most luscious (“Sans Soleil” wins that prize) and first most catchy track on Miike Snow‘s self-titled 2009 debut, fit perfectly with the elevated high school moment. “I change shapes just to hide in this place,” they sing. “But I’m still, […]

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Amor Fati

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The group exhibition Amor Fati (Love of Fate) opens at the Joyce Gordon Gallery in Oakland tonight. Curator Lian Ladia has put together a potent mix of artists who aren’t afraid of politics and aren’t afraid of the subconscious. Highlighted by a “visual anthropological sculpture” by SFAI instructor and Bay Area gem Carlos Villa, the […]

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In the Art Rags

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Larry Sultan is dead. The photographer behind Pictures from Home passed away from cancer on Sunday at the age of 63. The SF Chron, NY Times, and LA Times have similar obits. In 1990, Catherine Liu (yes, that Catherine Liu) talked to Sultan for BOMB about his home movies project; in the interview, Sultan says: […]

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Lights in Your Throat

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The 2009 music release schedule is winding down, so people have started making their arbitrary top-whatever lists. While such rankings might be more potent some years from now, when we see which albums are actually still in rotation (like tomorrow’s Leonids meteor shower, where “trails laid down by the [meteor’s parent] comet in 1466 and […]

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The Rumpus Interview with Alasdair Gray

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Writer and artist Alasdair Gray is his own best nightmare. It took the modern Scottish bard twenty-five years to finish Lanark: A Life in Four Books (1981), his fat, strangely inspirational novel of urbanism gone awry.

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In the Art Rags

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At BushwickBK.com, Mimi Luse reports on a one-night-only multimedia Lil’ Wayne-related show, curated by Audrey Berman and Pete Deevakul. With Claude Léveque and Bruce Nauman squaring off at the Venice Biennale, Studio Von Birken’s Louis Vuitton-meets-Lil’-Wayne parody is as potent as a neon spliff. It’s hard to look at some of Nauman’s work and not […]

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When I Was Young

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“And he came to interview me and suddenly I felt like he was trying to corner me. ‘Oh, what’s it like being a terrorist,’ and ‘You’re just doing it for shock value so people will buy your records.’ “And then he said, ‘When I was young…’ and I was like, ‘What?’ and he said, ‘Oh, […]

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Corpus Delicti

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Sometimes, in the work of German-Danish artist Christian Lemmerz, a “child’s christening is symbolised with a baptismal font in white marble with the inside shaped as a baby coffin….[A] wet grave filled with Kölner Wasser, to dampen the stench.” In “Corpus Delicti” at the Copenhagen branch of Gallery Faurschou, the lifesource is in the details. […]

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Cape Farewell

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Established by artist David Buckland in 2001, Cape Farewell coordinates cultural responses to climate change. One dope thing they do is send groups of artists, musicians, educators, writers, and scientists into the arctic–not forever, just for a trip. Past expeditions have included Feist, Amy Balkin, Vikram Seth, Jarvis Cocker, and Gary Hume, creator of the […]

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Annie Bacon’s Folk Opera

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Back in Santa Cruz, I marveled at Ukulele Dick and Oliver Brown, maestros of ukulele songsmithing and quirk. But sometimes a song is not just a song. Sometimes it’s an extended, operatic adventure, more like an urban folk ballad, played by San Francisco musician Annie Bacon. Bacon’s Folk Opera debuts tonight at the Noe Valley […]

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In the Art Rags

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Shirin Neshat is consistently astonishing. In Art in America, Eleanor Heartney talks with Neshat about her ongoing project of lyrical short films, and now a feature, based on Iranian writer Shahrnush Parsipur‘s magical 1989 novel, Women Without Men. Cabinet presents “Deception as a Way of Knowing,” a conversation between D. Graham Burnett and Anthony Grafton: […]

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