Thursday, July 26, 2007

NOVA Projects

Our new slide registry is up and running and there is a call to New Orleans artists to fill it up...  The details are on the NOVA Projects website on the front page.  It is being curated by Jeanette Ingberman, Exit Art founding director in NYC.  We are very lucky to have her curating.  This first round is to fill up the registry with its first 25 artists, 10 of which will be in the show for ART FOR ARTS SAKE at Barrister's Gallery.  Deadline is August 1st so there is time but not much...

The purpose of the registry is to show New Orleans' has a thriving art community that makes world-class art.  We want to show that good ideas can come from here.  The world thinks of New Orleans as a provincial back-water which is simply not true.  We are a city with many facets, many connections, and we have a world view.  Its different than the rest of the world but its here - here is a chance to show it off!

Any questions about NOVA Projects feel free to contact myself, Dan or Karen. Our contact information is here.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Constance is an art and literature publication that explores the fragmentary life that is New Orleans. Publishing various forms of visual art and creative writing, including photography, painting, illustration, drawing, collage, print making, graffiti, graphic design, poetry, fiction, nonfiction and creative nonfiction, Constance offers a fresh interpretation of a city that is in immense, and often times, overwhelming cultural and social flux. Constance aims to not only make sense of the fissured New Orleans identity, but to discover the creative and experimental possibilities of the present historical moment.

Constance is now accepting visual art and writing submissions for Issue 02, Delicate Burdens.

Delicate Burdens seeks work that confronts the everyday experience of making New Orleans home. Bring honest and uncompromising portrayals of yourself, your city and of those that look on or even look away. There’s a double meaning to everything in New Orleans – an anger in the devotion, a pleasure in the pain – and we want you to define it.

Inquiries/Questions to Constance
Mailing Address: Constance, 1437 N Roman Street, New Orleans, LA 70116

Sunday, July 15, 2007

call for NOLA artists in Chicago ASAP

Call for NOLA artists for Chicago show posted by Karen Louise Crain, July 15, 2007:

Heather Weathers told me about this Call for Artists for this upcoming Katrina- related show in Chicago. Curated by NOLA native Michelle Mashon the deadline is coming up QUICK—This Wednesday, July 18th!
The great news is that there is no submission fee, artists get 100% of the sale price and shipping is free! I’ve asked the curator for more info on where the show will be and what the exact dates of the show are and will pass those on in a comment to this post when I get an answer. But with the deadline coming so soon I wanted to post asap….

I thought David’s comments a couple of weeks ago on this blog regarding William Steacy were really interesting and the record number of comments suggests how resonate the post was. My thoughts on the subject are far more nuanced than this, but the bottom line is that if we want authentic “Katrina art” we have to make it ourselves and make sure it gets out there. Here’s a chance for us to represent in Chicago….Below is a statement by the curator, along with a bio on her, followed by more info on the show and submission process.

click here to download the curator's statement and application form

In A Responsiveness That Ultimately Expresses Itself In Action

Behind my voice is the chorus of all the other people who made all the other things and all the other people they made them for. All work is collaboration, all work contains the eyes of other artists. I know I’m collaborating with them but they don’t know about this collaboration… vs. say, Francis Alys. I walk his path through Mexico City when I walk Gentilly in New Orleans and he always says, “Point beyond yourself, beyond the diaristic, beyond the artist as solo flyer. Collaborate with your “Self”. Let’s get it on making art in the partnership mode.”

We cannot be in the present moment and run our story lines at the same time. Experiment with this for yourself, and watch how it changes you. Impermanence becomes vivid in the present moment; so do compassion and wonder and courage. And so does fear. In fact, anyone who stands on the edge of the unknown, fully in the present, without a reference point, experiences groundlessness. That’s when our understanding goes deeper, when we find that the present moment is a pretty vulnerable place and that this can be completely unnerving and terribly tender at the same time.

What gets made is no single subject, it’s not appropriation, not about the death of originality, death of the author, blah, blah, blah. It’s a wild, generous, sexy thing. Someone called me an anarchist yesterday; we laughed because it’s true.

The Battersean Bee Station
The Homeless Vehicle
Re-create forgotten tools
The two towers of Saint Leu d’Esserent

When a particular cultural idea like freedom becomes so abstract and overvalued, as in the case of Richard Serra, that it finally assumes control of the entire personality (or collective mentality) and suppresses all other motivations, then it becomes dogmatic and limiting. Anything which is not “in the whole” is not individuality but egocentrism.

Change is most likely to occur through people who are as far removed from cynicism as they are from utopianism. Making art as if the world mattered. Resisting the dehumanization of art. In order to change the social ills that we see we will first need to change our vision. Art is not only art. I submit that when vision is made concrete and situational, its traditional formalism and abstractness are overcome. In other words, vision that is truly engaged with the world in not purely cognitive, or purely aesthetic, but is opened up to the body as a whole and must issue forth in social practices that “take to heart” what is seen.

Within the framework of art as it is currently understood and practiced, the pedigree of work that is oriented toward compassionate action is always somewhat suspect, not least because its potential for yielding an income is low, and it creates few opportunities for the prevailing business culture. Obviously, in a cultural climate where radical autonomy has been the built-in assumption of artistic practices for so long, to propose a shift in the artist’s role from that of a self-directed, achievement-oriented professional to something like that of a cultural awakener or healer is to open oneself up to the accusation of mistaking art for a medical emergency team trying to save Western culture from itself. I think that is funny and a lot of fun.

Art oriented toward dynamic participation rather than toward passive, anonymous spectatorship has to deal with living contexts; and once an awareness of the ground, or setting, is actively cultivated, the audience is no longer separate. Meaning is no longer in the observer, nor in the observed, but in the relationship between the two. Interaction is the key that moves art beyond the aesthetic mode: letting the audience intersect with, and even form part of, the process, recognizing that when observer and observed merge, the vision of static autonomy is undermined.

“Sea Full of Clouds, What Can I Do?”
World as Lover, World as Self
Walker Mettling
The Adivasi
A city designed, crumbles
Here to fish?

How do we achieve the “world view of attachment” that James Hillman talks about? At this point we lack any practical blueprint for action, unless we are willing to act as architects and engineer a new conceptual framework for our lives. It is precisely to the periphery and the margins that we must look, if we are to find the core that will be central to society in the future, for it is here that it will be found to be emerging. It is here. You know where to find me.

Authors: “The Sienese Shredder”, “Proxemics”, Jane Hammond, “Bald Ego”, The Federal Levee Breaks That Flooded My City, Frida Motherfucking Kahlo, Pema Chodron, Pigeons, Suzi Gablik, My Great-Grandfather Who Escaped Russia With Nothing But The Violin He Made With His Own Two Hands And My Great-Grandmother Who For Some Reason Tried To Murder Him, Sojurner Truth, Dr. Isabelle Wallace, Chess Life & Review.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Biennal Mardi Gras

Does New Orleans need a Biennal?
There are alot of possible pros and cons for an event like this in our city.
One might question who benefits from something like this, and how.
Does this event improve our public schools or our murder rate? Can a contemporary art that denies its social responsibility have a positive effect in a city that's desperate for social responsibility?

On the flip side, much radical and contemporary art has been made in this city, and it's under the art world's radar. Could a biennal change that?

We live in New Orleans becaue it has a certain quality of insulation to it, like it or not. it's not NY, Los Angeles, Miami or Venice. Will the work of the art industry, in attempting to put N.O. on the comtemporary art world map, a la the above cities, change the character of the city in such a way that those making art here now will want to leave?

There's much to discuss about this. The art industry community has actively set their sights on New Orleans as a location for a biennal. I am curious as to how the artists and arts administrators feel - whether or not this may help them, short term or long term.
What exactly is the goal / hope for an event of this nature being held in N.O. and why specifically N.O.?


-Master of Disaster, guest moderator

Sunday, July 8, 2007

art review haikus

beautiful installations at kirsha's gallery, see the post below for info.
haiku for the mcKay's installation:
particles in space
ephemeral point cloud home
shimmer and vibrate

haiku for sally heller's installation (with Thomas little):
colorful web spun
in post-k terrarium
for nighttime gymnasts


Hot Iron Press Call For Visiting Artists - Printmaking Residency

How the program works:

Selected artists may use the Hot Iron Press letterpress and silkscreen
facilities in New Orleans for free for a period of up to two weeks in order
to work on and complete their proposed project. We welcome all artists to
apply - from those with no prior printmaking experience to seasoned
printmaking experts. Hot Iron Press staff will be available in whatever
capacity the artist needs - anything from occasional technical assistance to
hands-on collaboration in the art-making process. The ultimate goal of the
program is for the artist to use our facilities to complete an editioned
work of art. Upon completion, the artist retains 3/4 of their edition while
Hot Iron Press receives the other 1/4 to sell in our online catalog, display
in art shows, or use for other promotional purposes. While visiting artists
are allowed to use our facilities for free, they are also expected to
provide paper for their project at their own expense as well as any other
items they may need that we don't have on hand. It is also the artist's
responsibility to find and pay for his or her own accomodations and
transportation while in New Orleans, though we can be of assistance in
helping locate affordable options.

Our facilities include:

Showcard sign press (printing area of up to 14.5" x 44.5")

Showcard sign press (printing area of up to 22.5" x 28")

Vandercook Universal I proofing press (printing area of up to 21" x 15")

Chandler and Price guillotine paper cutter (cuts up to 30" x 30" and 3.5"

120 different typefaces

Various old cuts and engravings

Vaccuum table with hinge clamps for silkscreen (printing surface area of up
to 36" x 60")

Exposure unit (capable of burning image area up to 26" x 42")

Various size silkscreens

Various inks - acrylic for silkscreen; rubber-based, oil-based, and
water-based for letterpress or relief

AB Dick 360 offset press (prints up to 11" x 17")

Drying rack

How to submit a proposal:

There is no deadline for proposals as this program is open year-round.
Interested artists should submit a detailed written description of their
proposed project accompanied by some sort of visual representation of what
they're envisioning (sketches, photos, etc.). Additionally, artists must
submit a resume and 10 to 20 images of previous work (jpegs are preferred,
but slides may also be sent). Proposals may be submitted by email to
or by regular mail to
Hot Iron Press
1422 Kentucky St.
New Orleans, LA 70117.
Any questions can be directed to Kyle at 504-920-3980.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

alt art happenings this weekend

palma gallery one night only
Collective: Ideas from Six Different Someones
UNO Undergraduate Show
Featuring works by
Isaac Kirshbom Megan Nolan Yen Lang Jenny KoelbelMark Waguespack Valerie Corradetti
Opening Reception Saturday July 7th, 6 to 9 pm
828 Howard Ave • New Orleans, LA •

KKProjects, sat only
CLOUDLINE mike mckay + elizabeth swanson mckay
FLYSPACE sally heller with projection by thomas little
WHITEHOUSE an inhouse project
we are open every saturday through sept from 10 - 4 or by appointment
please join us for contemplation, relaxation, and refreshments!
2448 n villere st, new orleans la 70117,, 218 8701

tea party for helen hill
vegan potluck and showing of helen's newly re-mastered films
Sunday, July 8 @ 3:30 p.m.
Zeitgeist Multi-disciplinary Arts Center  
at Tulane University – Richardson Memorial Building – Rooms 204 or 201
(504) 827-5858

Friday, July 6, 2007

color blind

if anybody in the united states of north america had lulled themselves into the belief that racism was an issue laid to rest by MLK in the sixties, this convenient illusion was harshly broken by the footage and stories that came out of New orleans after the flood. Just as the rest of our country would like to turn its back on the gulf coast in the belief that everything has been taken care of (mission accomplished!), most people would like to close their eyes once again to the many tangled issues that surround race in this country, and in our little part of it particularly. Luckily a small group of artists are attempting to keep us on track. Ron Bechet, Willie Birch , Jacqueline Bishop, Dawn Dedeaux are putting together a loose group, provisionally called "ColorBlind". they are looking for ideas and practical actions that might help bring awareness and understanding to this important issue.

Although race in the south has historically pitted those of african descent against those of european descent, any discussion of race in our city today must include the vietnamese, central american and south american communities. all other categories we use to divide ourselves (class, gender, etc,) must be brought into the mix.
Somehow we have to bypass the shorthand of stereotypes and assumptions our culture uses to simplify things, so we can see each other as we really are. This is not a simple task, since we have to continuously and critically deconstruct the fiction we write for others, and, even tougher, for ourselves.

There will be a second public meeting sometime in August. For more info and to share ideas, contact
Ron, Willie, Jacqueline, & Dawn.

unusual suspects @ barrister's gallery

Barrister's new space on st. claude is a cornerstone in the reconfiguration of this street as an art district, a great alternative to julia. The gallery space itself is a nice renovation of Andy's downstairs. I especially like the wall of doors in the back.

Each artist in this group show takes on different guises. Disguises are commonplace in a city where a large portion of the population is used to putting on costumes at least once a year. Of course, when you are showing with the art cops, it might be best to hide your identity.
tim best's suit is vacuous and lost in an existential void. The man in a suit was once perhaps the artists' antithesis, but the 1980's made even the artist a businessman, just with a more relaxed suit. I'm glad to see the introduction of gumballs, which hints at larger and more expressive possibilities. Most clowns I see these days seem to be of the drunk, sad, pathetic, and violent variety. This must be some new archetype that has hit a vein with a certain demographic. I'm not sure how Dan tague sees his photos fitting into this, but his clown is fittingly down and out. HIs pieces ride the edge of dumbness & numbness. Daphne Loney's women are animals, but big, clunky plastic headed animals, best when caught posing in their natural habitat of casual and banal domesticity.

As an artist, i'm afraid to say anything about the art cops for fear of repercussions. I demand an independent, outside investigative committee to look into their activities.

my haiku art review

suits, clowns, and horse girls,

every artwork is a crime.

what are they hiding?

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Arts initiatives panel

In the middle of the summer in new orleans, it is hard to even think about activism, much less actually go out to see some artists talk about it. i was glad to see so many folks there. With so many needs in this city, it is up to artists to demonstrate the importance and relevance of art and artists to the community. This panel was the first of a new program called Art Sessions: A Series of Discussions on Contemporary Visual Art put on by louisiana artworks. Five different artist/organizers talked about the projects they had put together.

Kyle Bravo, ofHot Iron Press spoke about their press and the new orleans book fair. they also have a visiting artist program. Their work looks great, so check them out.

Erik Kieswetter, talked about the print project, Constance. The next issue will be coming soon and they are looking for submissions.

Elizabeth Underwood, started art in action to showcase and encourage artists creating work that engages our current city landscape. She is always willing to discuss ideas for projects.

Owen Murphy, from the new orleans photo alliance discussed the benefits of artists organizing to accomplish what they want. Any photographers interested should contact the alliance.

Dan Tague spoke about his development as a freelance curator in response to the opportunities available to artists in new orleans. His current project is NOVA, a new orleans visual artists registry. Take a look at the site and apply to the registry.

The panel was ably moderated by one of new orleans's premier activists, Jackie Bishop.
Before you sink back into summer slumber, muster what initiative you might have left and talk to some of these folks. If they aren't doing what you think should be done, they might be able to help you organize your own arts initiative. - DS

haiku reviews of cac shows i saw in june, ending soon

"Making 10 Years – Ammar Eloueini", downstairs and already down, this showed the work of Ammar Eloueini, an associate professor in the Tulane School of Architecture. Now i need a rapid prototyping machine, if anyone wants to share.

my haiku art review:

clear, cut plastic

folded in space or stacked up

commerce meets culture

Rachel Jones - "multiples" installation in the circle gallery until July 8
Rachel's show is the first in the CAC's new Emerge Project installations in the circle gallery. The CAC is still in the midst of post-k shakeup, Perhaps the CAC will become a center for contemporary art of new orleans as well as for new orleans.
although Rachel's foray into installation is somewhat timid, it works well inside the oval. Rachel is an accomplished painter. I enjoyed seeing her brushwork slowly escape the service of representation, and strike out on its own itinerary within the cut plastic shapes. All of the paintings are cut from a plastic paper, mostly floating or falling women of various shapes and sizes. Rachel does throw some other ingredients into the mix, from the standard tv to the more intriguing fox and mouse. It would be interesting to see how these pieces would work in a more focused, and intentional, installation.

my haiku art review:

sinuous brushwork,

cut paper on oval walls.

the careful fox steps.

SPEAK (AGAIN) MEMORY: Carlos Estevéz and Mario Petrirena
In the Lupin Foundation Gallery (upstairs) through July 22, 2007
Carlos Estevéz drawings appealed to my fetish for detail and occult symbology. They are like pages from a pan cultural medieval alchemical manual. Although sometimes they veered into a style that seemed a bit dated, they are beautiful drawings. I'm looking forward to finding one of these in a bottle the next time I'm at the beach. I was less interested in the sculptural and photographic installations of Petrirena. They were generally unimaginative. The laces doilies were amazing though.

my haiku art review:

drawings in bottles

beautiful and intricate

installations not

As you can tell my haiku skill is nascent and runs out rapidly. -DS

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


What a nifty art idea: go down to a disaster area, photograph somebody's damaged personal photos, blow them up big, and put them in a white box gallery in nyc and sell them for a couple of thousand dollars.

I have to admit, the smeared pictures of my family i peeled off of the muddy floor of our house looked pretty cool, which is why i scanned them in. I just don't have the emotional detachment to turn them into pure lucre (i'm sorry, of course i mean aesthetic art objects).

Will Steacy is the recipient of my first Katrina reverse grant to the amount of $5000. Congratulations WIll. The reverse grant provides the recipient with the honor of giving back to the community. In this case, i think a donation to the arts council of new orleans might be in order.
Of course, I'm giving poor mr. Steacy a lot of shit, and i don't know a lot about him. He may have been volunteering down here at the time. he may have already donated thousands to the relief efforts. He may even be the victim of terrible tragedy in his own life. I think this does bring up some interesting issues though. I'm a bit fuzzy on the ethics of photography. I'm familiar with sherrie levine's re-photos. But in that case, Walker Evan's initial subjects presumably knew they were being photographed (at least implied consent), and i suspect the original photos were gov't property. In this instance, i doubt the subjects of the photos or the original photographer had given any consent, or had any idea that these moments would be for sale to strangers in nyc. Of course, perhaps it is ok for the onlookers at disaster sites to enter the affected private properties and snoop around for aesthetic moments. I guess some of weegee's photos might fall into this category. to go even further, would it be ok for me to go to the peer gallery, take some photos of mr. steacy's work and sell prints outside for a couple "C" notes. Let me add that i really don't have any ethical problem with most of Steacy's photos. They aren't any different from the billion and a half other artified storm photos i've seen. I'd be interested in hearing what other people think, esp. photographers and lawyers.

Of course, as we all know, Will isn't the only one making money off of katrina. In the past two years, we've all seen plenty of cultural carpetbaggers. What long term repercussions their activities will have on our city is yet to be seen - what do y'all think? Most of us didn't have the time or frame of mind, much less the contacts, to make money off of our own misfortunes. I doubt my flood damaged photos would have sold here in new orleans, anyway.