Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

2012 – Ofer Wolberger

January 6, 2013

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SOUNDS:

I became obsessed with many new albums this year and discovered plenty of old ones. These are just a few that played on repeat in my studio:

Frank Ocean – Channel Orange

John Talabot – ƒIN

Grimes: Visions

Rodriguez – Cold Fact

RADIO:

CULTURE SHOCK 1913 on Studio 360

EXHIBITIONS:

Of the big exhibitions I saw this year, these are the ones that I think back to often and which reflect my current interests.

Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective at the Art Institute of Chicago

Mark Flood: The Hateful Years at Luxembourg & Dayan

Christopher Wool at Musée D’Art Moderne De La Ville De Paris

Wade Guyton OS at The Whitney Museum, New York

BOOKS:

Michael Schmidt – Lebensmittel
A cold crisp view on the food industry in Europe by one of Germany’s best photographers.

Takuma Nakahira – Circulation: Date, Place, Events
The nature of expression as seen through the eyes of a Japanese photographer visiting Paris in 1971.

Notable Coincidence: Peter Sutherland’s Permanently Collected published by Swill Children and John Dogg’s (aka Richard Prince’s) Bob Crane: He Got It Coming published by Fulton Ryder.
Seek them both out to see what I mean.

Films:

Three unexpected and daring films. Identity, love and eating potatoes will never be the same again.

Holy Motors by Leos Carax
Amour by Michael Haneke
The Turin Horse by Bela Tarr

WEBSITES:

Seth Price
There are two basic trends in website design for successful artists today, completely non-existant and the definitive archive. Seth Price’s Distributed History is absolutely an archive and full of wonderful images, essays, pdfs, mp3 downloads, etc. For what it lacks in design it makes up for in content.

Greg.org
Still the funniest and most original art content I read on the net.

Taylor Tailor
This guy Taylor is building his wardrobe from scratch and the results are quite impressive.

New But Old Discoveries:
If you haven’t heard of Bern Porter, take a moment and peruse the website set up by his estate. This man was ahead of his time in all sorts of fascinating ways. Porter was definitely the biggest discovery I made at the New York Art Book Fair this year.

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2012 – Ethan Greenbaum

January 5, 2013

Genzken_3_500px_500Isa Genzken, Filming Children III, Detail, 2005

Atelier Brancusi
Built by Renzo Piano and tucked quietly alongside the overblown
Pompidou, the Atelier Brancusi encases the artist’s studio, works and tools
in a circumnavigable glass cube. It seemed nearly forgotten on the day I
went, with just a handful of people moving through the space in hushed
tones. The peaceful and satisfied nap I took on one of the benches felt
entirely appropriate.

Cellblock I and Cellblock II
(An exhibition in essay form) curated by Robert Hobbs at Andrea Rosen
The end is just the beginning

Lydia Davis
Lydia Davis writes short, and sometimes really short stories that I don’t
want to dishonor by trying to recount. She is supremely self-conscious,
language obsessed and funny. The work defies genre and manages to be
both painfully hermetic and wonderfully alive. I got my parents her first
novel, This is the End, for Christmas and will be stealing it soon.

Denial of Death by Ernest Becker
Get your head right. Written in 1973 by a man who died within a year of
finishing it (just missing out on his Pulitzer-how perfect), this book is the
most comprehensive, frightening and ultimately empathetic account of
human motivations and failures I’ve come across. While there are some
arguable and dated moments, (Becker trying to explain the pathology of
homosexuality is a low point) you should read this if you’re worried.

Allen Edmonds
I’ve been picking these up on Ebay and they’ve revived my faith in the
pleasures of considered, well built objects. Handcrafted on the last with 360
degree Goodyear welting and shock absorbent cork insoles, they are sturdy,
beautiful and one of the few remaining American shoemakers still producing
domestically.

Isa Genzken at the Museum Ludwig
I’ve always appreciated the way Isa Genzken draws out the uncanny and
erotic in pop culture. Looking at one of her installations in the somewhat
dilapidated Ludwig Museum, I saw something else. They looked old. The
ebony shellacked Donald duck was dusty and the skewered plastic coca cola
umbrella was yellowed and cracking. Seeing the manic sexiness of her work
tempered by time and decay left me a bit shaken. I wonder if Genzken
would consider this a success.

Bob Jackson Cycles
Steel frame bikes hand built by Bob Jackson in Leeds, England since the
50s. My chromed Bob Jackson was a gift after my last bike was stolen and
in addition to being a great ride, it is supremely cool looking and allows me
to have conversations with bike enthusiasts of my father’s generation.

Vincent Scully: Modern Architecture and Other Essays
I picked this up at CAA’s book fair and it has changed my life. Scully
condenses a lifetime of learning into incredibly concise and poetic essays
exploring the role of ideology and desire in the built environment.

Ethan Greenbaum

2012 – Lucas Blalock

December 27, 2012

Wesley_Ducks_10375_crop1John Wesley, Untitled (Ducks), 1983

Charlene Von Heyl – ICA – Boston (exhibition)

Adam Curtis – Century of the Self – 2002 BBC doc mini-series on Youtube

Andra Ursuta – Magical Terrorism – Ramiken Crucible – NY (exhibition)

David Hammond’s “Body Prints” in Now Dig This!, Hammer Museum / MoMA PS1

Carl Andre/John Wesley – Mitchell-Innes & Nash – NY (exhibition)

Joan Jonas

Chris Wiley’s (yet to be exhibited) new body of work from Los Angeles

Barney Kulok – Building – Aperture, 2012 (photo book)

Mitch Epstein – Sikkema Jenkins and Co – NY (exhibition)

Surrealism collection at the Tate Modern – London

Patricia Treib – Pieces – Tibor de Nagy – NY (exhibition)

B Wurtz and Co. (curated by Matthew Higgs) – Richard Telles Fine Art – Los Angeles (exhibition)

The Shaping of New Visions: Photography, Film, Photobook. MoMA – NY (a great hang of the permanent photo collection) (exhibition)

Laura Owens – Pavement Karaoke / Alphabet, Sadie Coles – London (exhibition)

Lucas Blalock

2012 – Carmen Winant

December 26, 2012

MoMA_Ivekovic2011_MakeUpMakeDown.jpgSanja Iveković, Make Up—Make Down, 1978

Sheila Heti, How Should a Person Be (2012). I found this well-crafted book, part novel and part memoir, to be very sexy. I supremely disliked certain parts, but I couldn’t stop thinking or talking about it for months after with everyone I came into contact with. I read Erica Jong’s 1973 novel Fear of Flying directly afterwards and think that they are similar (Heti’s version being better and smarter) in their inquest into how to be a young woman who craves both sexual domination/submission and intellectual validation and agency. Along the same lines and for the same reason, I love the HBO show Girls. It’s so hard to be a feminist sometimes in 2012.

When We Were Kings (1995). I watched this film about the mythic fight between Ali and Foreman in 1972 Zaire for the first time this year. I can confidently say that it is the most affective, muscular documentary that I have ever seen. George Plimpton and Norman Mailer were there and have funny and astute commentary on the fight. But it is Ali who is has the most charismatic charge (fear only seem to breed more charisma in him). Both out of the ring and in it he is the smartest and savviest one there.

The Summer Olympics, once every four years (2012). Track and Field, mostly, but also everything else.

The Dust Bowl documentary by Ken Burns (2012).

Wayne Koestenbaum introduction for Barthes’ A Lover’s Discourse (2010). This edition came out in 2010, but I only just read it. Koestenbaum, who almost never steers wrong, gives me a deeper and more human understanding of the book, which is itself a very profound description of longing.

Tom Waits interview with Terry Gross (2011). I could listen to it a hundred times. Tom Waits is a surprsingly funny, tender alien.

Sanja Ivekovic: Sweet Violence at the MoMA (2011-2012). The only art-related thing on this list. I found it sensitive and biting. This show gave me lots of ideas, and taught me a lot of recent history about the former Yugoslavia that I was ashamed that I didn’t know.

My brother Gabriel Winant, a Doctorate student at Yale, wrote an article, Grad Students to the Barricades, for Dissent Magazine a few months ago about unionizing the graduate students, and the larger stake and importance of labor unions within academic institutions. Even if you are not in academia, it is hugely relevant. Truth to power!

Mast Books on avenue A is the best book store that I have ever been to.

Carmen Winant

2012 – Christopher Gianunzio

December 25, 2012

HighTide_gridfrom High Tide by Mike Slack

Noteworthy Band reunion:
American Nightmare at Webster Hall on July 20, 2012

Favourite New Album:
Acid Pauli, Mst

Favourite Stand-Up Comics:
Kyle Kinane
Michael Lawrence
Moshe Kasher

Notable Poetry Collection:
Poems 1962-2012 by Louis Gluck

Notable Short Story Collection:
Suddenly, a Knock on the Door: Stories by Edgar Keret

Notable Documentary(ies):
Jiro Dreams of Sushi (officially from 2011, didn’t see it until spring 2012)
Marina Ambromovic: The Artist is Present
The Imposters
Room 237

Notable Film:
Holy Motors

Memorable Artist Talk/Lecture/Discussion:
Walead Beshty discussing his interest in the Chinese counterfeiting industry.

Favourite new (to me) tattoo artist:
El Monga Sasturain

Notable Photo Book re-issue:
High Tide by Mike Slack:

Notable Biography:
Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace

Notable Retrospective in book form:
Larry Sultan & Mike Mandel

Notable Anthology:
Curiosity and Method: Ten Years of Cabinet Magazine

Christopher Gianunzio

2012 – Justin James Reed

December 24, 2012

install-3
Stray Light Grey by Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe at Marlborough Chelsea

Out/Not of this world lectures:
Trisha Donnelly Lecture at VCU
Perhaps one of the most unbearable and incredible lectures I have ever attended. From a questionable broken hard drive, to a loud piercing sound piece played at full volume implying sculpture, and even a white puffy shoe acting as a moment of respite for the artist, it was definitely mystifying. Though, if anything, I left more intrigued and enamored with her work even if only a handful of pieces were actually shown during its entirety.

Nancy Burson at SPESE: Daytona Beach
This one came out of nowhere and reenforced how enlightening the question and answer period following a lecture can be. After offering an anecdote about how the (then) approaching doomsday of December 21st was going to change the world, an audience member asked Burson to expand on the nature of her insight. A long silence gripped the room for what felt like minutes as she (seemingly) debated how much of herself to share. What followed was a deeply personal moment during which not the apocalypse was discussed but a hope and belief in a new era of consciousness, where god is not looked to but instead humanity itself finds that the answers we seek are within.

Music:
Nocturne by Wild Nothing
Exercises – CFCF
Bloom – Beach House
Fin – John Talabot
Clear Moon – Mount Eerie
EP – Twigs
For the first part of the year, absolutely critical listening for epic car rides from the mountains of Appalachia to civilization and back again, now perfect for the I-95 Corridor.

Exhibitions:
Stray Light Grey by Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe at Marlborough Chelsea
A time machine. One of the most unique gallery experiences I have ever had.

Sunburn by Chris McCaw at Candela Gallery
Couldn’t have asked for a more welcome show to kick off my time in RVA. Coupled with his terrific book of the same name (published by Candela Books) it was nice to see how easily it transitioned to the walls of Chelsea only a few months later.

Artist’s Choice curated by Trisha Donnelly at MoMA
Not only does Donnelly fill a room with some of my favorite photographs, period (Eliot Porter’s Birds of North America), but this could be the perfect follow-up to her lecture with picks from MoMA’s collection, including: microprocessor diagrams, a painting by Patrick J. Sullivan entitled, “The Fourth Dimension,” a set of photograms by Bernice Abbott depicting wave patterns, and even a pyramid shaped ionizer. It all makes sense now!

Books:
Pix or It Didn’t Happen by Abbey Lee Sarver (Self-published)
When everything is mediated by the screen, a new visual language is inevitable. POIDH pretty much nails it.

Cyanotypes by Hugh Scott-Douglas (Mousse Publishing)
Purely psychedelic cyanotypes.

Poem by Fredrik Averin (Self-published)
Using the translucency of paper this little gem strings together smart, funny, and dirty 3-word poems that disappear as soon as you turn the page.

Justin James Reed

2012

December 24, 2012

In a last minute attempt to evaluate the year that was, I have asked a number of people to contribute to Horses Think by making a list of their favorite things this year: books, movies, lectures, music, exhibitions and anything else they can think of.

I’ll post a list each day for as long as I receive them. Feel free to post your collection of favorites in the comments.

Image Atlas

August 24, 2012

Taryn Simon and Aaron Swartz have created Image Atlas, an online interactive project that investigates the cultural differences of words as they are translated into images through web searches around the world.

More info about the project and an interview with Simon can be found here.

Will Steacy – State Of The Union

January 24, 2012

As part of a soon to be released series of collages titled “Perception Is Reality” I have gathered the following data statistics. Organized into statistical groupings to provide context and a better understanding of their significance, these data sets paint a horrifyingly clear portrait of the political, social and economic crisis that currently has our country in a stranglehold. Despite what President Obama may say tonight in his State of The Union address and whatever the GOP will say in response, here is my State of The Union presented by the numbers in the form of fact checked statistics.

-Will Steacy

The Numbers Don’t Lie

US Corporations are currently sitting on nearly $2 Trillion dollars in cash.

In the past decade Fortune 100 companies have laid off 2.9 Million American workers and hired 2.4 Million oversees.

More than a $100 Billion a year is given by the US government to businesses in loopholes, credits, and incentives.

More than 80 of America’s largest 100 publicly traded companies make use of offshore tax havens, which cost US taxpayers $100 Billion a year.

60% of US businesses with profits of $1 Million are structured as “pass throughs” and do not pay US taxes.

Corporate tax collections in the US in 2010 amounted to just 1.3% of GDP, in 1952 it was 6.1%

General Electric earned $14.2 Billion in profits in 2010 and paid zero dollars in US taxes.

GE laid off 21,000 American workers and closed 20 factories between 2007-2009 and more than half of GE’s workforce is now outside the US.

 

Mitt Romney paid a 13.9% effective income-tax rate in 2010 on $21.7 Million in reported earnings.

Newt Gingrich paid an effective tax rate of 31.7% on a reported total income of $3.16 Million in 2010.

President Obama paid an effective tax rate of 25.3% on $1.8 Million in earnings in 2010.

Under 2012 presidential candidate Newt Gingrich’s tax plan, which eliminates taxes on capital gains, dividends and interest, Romney’s effective tax rate would be near zero and only his speaker fees ($374,000) would be subject to a 15% tax rate.

From 2001 through 2010, the Bush Era Tax Cuts amounted to $2.6 Trillion in lost revenue and we have spent more than $400 Billion on increased interest to finance the debt created by the Bush tax cuts.

Between 2001Q4 and 2007Q4, the US economy experienced the worst economic expansion since WWII.

If the Bush Era Tax Cuts expire at the end of 2012, $3.8 Trillion will be made in new revenue in a decade.

The US national debt is currently $15 Trillion.

 

An average of 750,000 jobs were lost a month between December 2008 and April 2009. By the time job losses stopped, a year after Obama took office, The Great Recession had cost the economy 8.8 Million jobs.

50,000 factories in the US have closed in the past decade.

6 Million manufacturing jobs have been lost in the past decade.

American manufacturing employment peaked in 1979 at 19.6 million jobs. Today there are only 11.8 million manufacturing jobs, a decline of 40% since the peak.

Private sector Union membership in America is 6.9%, down more than 20% from 30 years ago.

The US has a $500 Billion trade deficit in manufactured goods.

The service sector, for which our economy is based, accounts for only 20% of world trade.

 

Nearly half of America’s public schools didnt meet federal achievement standards this year, the largest failure since No Child Left Behind took effect a decade ago. On a state level failure rates range from Wisconsin-11% to Florida-89%.

Today, workers with just a college degree and no further degrees are less likely to get work place health coverage than workers with only a high school degree were in 1979.

In 1979 the average college graduate made 38% more than the average high school graduate. Today, the average college graduate makes more than 75% than the average high school graduate.

 

From 2004-2009, 85% of growth in Research and Development workers employed by US based companies has been abroad.

56% of the world’s engineering degrees awarded in 2008 were in Asia, compared with 4% in the US.

57% of US doctoral degrees in engineering in 2009 went to foreigners, mostly from East Asia and India.

More than 40% of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their children. These companies generate more than $4 Trillion in annual revenue.

The US awards annually only 85,000 H-1B visas for highly skilled workers. More than that number have been know to apply on the first day of application.

1.1 Million deportations have occurred since President Obama took office. This is the highest number in 6 decades.

There are 21.3 Million Latino voters in the US.

More than 1 in 10 Americans lack a government issued ID.

As many as 5 Million Americans will find it significantly more difficult to cast a ballot this election.

Ronald Regan won relelection in 1984 with 7.4% unemployment.

 

More than 220,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are out of work.

Total cost of Iraq War = 4,400 American lives and $800 Billion.

Less than 1% of American population is in active military duty.

18 war veterans commit suicide everyday. 1 every 80 mins.

22% of all suicides in the US are former service members.

 

Facebook’s IPO is valued at $100 Billion, with 3,000 employees.

McDonald’s stock is also valued at $100 Billion, with 400,000 employees.

According to labor statistics, if all current jobs openings were filled tomorrow, nearly 10 Million Americans would still be jobless.

 

Average after tax income for the top 1% of US households has increased 275% from 1979 to 2007. While those in the bottom 20%, income grew only 18%. (Annual income of $343,000 or more qualifies as the 1%)

In 2010, the top 1/5th of US households collected 50.3% of all the nation’s income. The lowest 1/5th collected just 3.3% of the nation’s income.

The richest 20% of Americans own more than 80% of the country’s wealth, while the poorest 20% own 1/10th of the country’s wealth.

49 Million American are living in poverty, the highest number in the 52 years the Census Bureau has been publishing figures on poverty.

Nearly 97.3 Million Americans fall into the low-income category, defined as earning 100-199% of poverty level ($11,282 for an individual and $24,343 for a family of four).

Combined, 146.4 Million Americans, 48% of US population, are poor, either living in poverty or classified as low income. (US population: 312 Million)

25 Million Americans are unemployed or without full time work.

 

Unemployment benefits last 99 weeks and cost the US $156 Billion in 2010.

Average duration of unemployment is 41 weeks, the highest in 60 years.

From 2005-2009, Millionaires collected $74 Million in unemployment benefits.

Unemployment in Spain is 22.8%

Unemployment in Germany is 6.8%

Youth unemployment in the European Union is 22.9%.

Youth without education, employment or training cost countries in the EU €2 Billion per week.

Eurozone countries account for 40% of Germany’s exports, China only consumes 7%.

 

Median household income in the US has fallen 6.4% since 2007, the year before the recession.

The Chinese save 40% of their incomes, Germans save 11%, Americans save below 4%.

152 Million Americans shop in the 3 days following Thanksgiving.

American holiday shoppers, both retail and online, spent a record $52.4 Billion on Thurs-Sun Thanksgiving weekend.

Credit card balances crept up to $798.3 Billion in November.

1% of small business owners have an adjusted gross income over $1 Million a year.

China has the second largest amount of Billionaires in the world, the US is first.

 

China invests 46% of its GDP in its future, while the US invests 12%.

In the early 1950s, US government devoted about 1.2% of GDP to infrastructure, by 2010 that amount had fallen to just 0.2%.

Federal spending on research and development dropped from a high of nearly 2% in 1964 to 0.9% in 2009.

The current federal income tax rate for the 400 wealthiest taxpayers, aka the 0.000258%, fell from 30% in 1995 to 18% in 2008.

 

For the past 30 years health care spending costs grew 2% faster than the US overall economy.

In 2009, 50 Million Americans under 65 were without health insurance.

In 2010 the US spent $2.6 Trillion on health care.

Medicaid accounted for 22.3% of state spending in 2010.

10,000 Americans retire everyday.

By 2030, there an estimated 80 Million people to be on Medicare.

Baby Boomers born in 1946 turned 65 in 2011. (Baby Boomers: born 1946-1964)

 

In 2010, CEOs at the largest US companies made on average 343 times the pay of the average worker.
In 1978, CEOs made 35 times the pay of the average worker.
In Germany, CEOs make on average 11 times the pay of the average worker.

The financial services industry spent $2.3 Billion on federal campaign contributions from 1990-2010. This is more than what the health care, energy, defense, agriculture and transportation industries combined spent on campaign contributions.

Wall Street has spent $5 Billion on lobbying efforts to deregulate the banking industry.

 

28% of American mortgages are underwater.

There are 10 Million vacant properties in America, up from 7 Million in 2010.

Only 11.6% of Americans moved between 2010-2011, the number of Americans who moved in 1985 was 20%.

Households with more than $1 Million in income claimed more than $27 Billion in mortgage interest deductions.

90% of the 115.9 Million homes with TV in the US subscribe to basic cable.

$12.5 Million was spent on Iowa Caucus television ads.

Rick Perry and his super PAC spent $4.23 Million on television ads in the month of December.

Perry earned 10.3% of votes in the Iowa Caucus, costing him $332 a vote.

Minimun wage in Iowa is currently $7.25. A 40 hour work week before taxes at this rate is $290.

The average American collected $295 in weekly unemployment benefits in 2010.

 

Global emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel burning rose by 5.9% in 2010, the largest amount on record.

Land temperatures have risen 1.8 degrees since 1950.

The total economic loss of global natural disasters in 2011 was a record $380 Billion.

House Republicans voted 168 times (as of Oct. 15, 2011) this year to undercut clean air and water laws while blocking efforts to limit global warming, protect public lands and guard against future oil spills.  They have been called the “most anti-environment congress in history.”

The cost of 100 Senators and 435 House of Representatives is about $2.2 Billion a year, $7 per capita.

There are 249 Millionaires in Congress and the estimated median net worth of a current US Senator stood at an average of $2.56 Million.

76% of Americans say 2011 was the worst year of their lives.

69% of Americans say the country is headed in the wrong direction.

Congress has a 9% approval rating.

 

(Editor’s Note: Things rarely get political over here on Horses Think but when Will Steacy sent over his incredible list of numbers and statistics he had compiled in preparation for his collage project “Perception Is Reality,” I invited him to guest post here and share it with all of you.)

Vaseline

January 8, 2012

Here is something to get you off on the right foot in the new year, it’s from over a year ago but so classic and completely disturbing.