Sunday, 31 January 2016

#makinguse 11

Overlook: Exploring the Internal Fringes of America with the Center for Land Use Interpretation is a monograph of CLUI, one of the Making Use. Life in Postartistic Times exhibition participants. Founded in Los Angeles in 1994, CLUI is involved in the exploration and study of land and landscape. They pursue interdisciplinary reflections on the modification of the planet by the agricultural, industrial, military, or tourist activity of homo sapiens. CLUI organizes exhibitions; manages photo archives; conducts a residency program in the desert in Wendover, Utah; publishes scientific books and guides; and organizes tours to hard-to-access areas of the United States, such as nuclear test sites. The organization has also founded the conceptual American Land Museum, covering the entire territory of the United States, with its collection made up of sites catalogued by CLUI (former factories, waste dumps, graveyards for aircraft, models of cities for military exercises, slag heaps, and so on). Lucy Lippard has written that CLUI is a major heir to the conceptual art of the 1960s and 1970s, although it is hard to recognize its activity as art.

Friday, 29 January 2016

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

#makinguse 10

Today we are reading Notes from the Future of Art, the collection of texts by Jerzy Ludwiński (1930-2000),  a theorist, lecturer, art critic, and an adherent of “notional art,” through which, “instead of creating visual objects, artists were to simply write down texts, on whose basis the pieces could be made concrete in one way or another.” He declared the need to prepare for an entirely new kind of art, which would be utterly non-material and would not require institutional support. 
Ludwiński, who suggested that we are living in a “post-art epoch,” and that new experimental artistic practices require a new name and language. He compared the development of art to a snowball rolling down a hill, always growing, collecting successive parts of reality, to finally become the globe itself. Ludwiński outlined the development of art in six phases; we are presently only in the fourth phase, the stage of meta-art, which is collecting all of reality. We still have before us the total phase, which will then take us to the zero phase – art which we will no longer be able to display in a conventional manner, at an exhibition for example, and which can only be “suggested.” Members of the new civilization will communicate it through telepathy.

Friday, 22 January 2016

#makinguse 9

Art Beyond Art: Ecoaesthetics: A Manifesto for the 21st Century is a collection of articles and other writings by Rasheed Araeen, an artist, writer and Founding Editor of Third Text,  accompanied by his drawings, proposals, and photographs.  Araeen: "The land had always been an object of the artist’s gaze, but this time the gaze did not produce landscape painting. On the contrary, the conception of land as art itself became the artwork. This was achieved by intervening in the land and transforming it as something that continued to remain part of the land, either as a stationary object or what would transform itself continually.” 

Saturday, 16 January 2016

#makinguse 8

Qiuzhuang is a village of around 1,000 inhabitants, located about 800km south of Beijing. The Chinese artist Li Mu wanted to introduce modernist European and American art to his family and acquaintances in Qiuzhuang. "He wanted, in part, to try to reconcile where he came from and where he was going—to bridge a gap that would inevitably transform both art and village in the process. At the same time, he asked himself how the works of art would function in this new environment, and what meaning they would take on there. (…) After quickly rejecting the idea of shipping the physical objects to China, Li Mu set about reproducing the artworks of Sol LeWitt, Dan Flavin, Andy Warhol (amongst others). He worked together with the villagers for more than a year, painstakingly reconstructing works and placing them in the houses and streets of the village.” A Man, A Village, A Museum is a book about the project, featuring entries from Li Mu’s diary, conversations with residents from the village, interviews, correspondence, and dozens of photographs and drawings.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

#makinguse 7

Future Publics (The Rest Can and Should Be Done by the People) is a a critical reader which "brings together contributions by artists, theorists, and activists to reflect on radically new publics—forward-looking yet pre-figurative, situated yet nomadic—as they emerge from the experiences of social crisis and political uncertainty that characterize our present". The book was edited by Maria Hlavajova and Ranjit Hoskote, and published by BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht 

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

#makinguse 6

The very abridged version of Ruskin’s biography would be: "John Ruskin was born in London in 1819, of Scottish descent. His father was a succesful wine-merchant and art lover; his mother a strict Evangelical whose religious instruction affected him deeply. (…) He lived on, withdrawn and inactive, until 1900."
And the description from the Arte Útil archive (nr: 118), which will constitute a part of Making Use. Life in the Postartistic Times exhibition: "John Ruskin was the greatest British art critic and social commentator of the Victorian Age. He fiercely attacked the worst aspects of industrialization and actively promoted art education and museum access for the working classes. His prophetic statements on environmental issues speak to our generation as well as to his own. Ruskin’s social view broadened from concerns about the dignity of labour to consider wider issues of citizenship, and notions of the ideal community. Just as he had questioned aesthetic orthodoxy in his earliest writings, he dissected the orthodox political economy espoused by John Stuart Mill, based on theories of laissez-faire and competition drawn from the work of Adam Smith, David Ricardo and Thomas Malthus. Ruskin became an increasingly popular public lecturer in the 1850's. His work Lectures is a compilation of his most important pieces. The Lecture III is The Relation of Art to Use."

Monday, 11 January 2016

#makinguse 5

Loompanics Unlimited was an American book seller and publisher specializing in nonfiction on generally unconventional or controversial topics."The topics in their title list included drugs, weapons, anarchism, sex, conspiracy theories, and so on. Many of their titles describe some kind of illicit or extralegal actions, such as Counterfeit I.D. Made Easy, while others are purely informative, like Opium for the Masses. Loompanics was in business for nearly 30 years.” (Wikipedia)

Thursday, 7 January 2016

between old objectivity and naive conceptualism

This is the last week of Zofia Rydet's exhibition at the Warsaw Museum of Modern Art. We are concluding it with a symposium Between Old Objectivity and Naive Conceptualism, on Rydet's Sociological Record series, which takes place on the 8 and 9th of January. 
Photographing people in Poland in their homes or on their doorsteps, Rydet produced a massive archive of about twenty thousand negatives of faces, interiors, objects and pictures. The project consumed her entirely, to the extent that she never managed to give it a final shape – neither in the form of a book nor an exhibition. There was always another place she wanted to visit, more people she wanted to photograph. Due to the fact that Zofia Rydet’s project has never been shown in a sufficiently broad selection, it has remained shrouded in myth. The aim of the symposium accompanying the exhibition Zofia Rydet. Record, 1978-1990 is to change exactly that, by bringing the "Record" to use again, both as an object of interpretation as well as of photography theory; by contextualizing and interpreting Zofia Rydet's magnum opus from different points of departure, and thus making it available for further reflection. The artist herself was unresolved about how to define her work. Is it a piece of art or science – or perhaps, above all, a testimony of its time?

#makinguse 4

The Green Bloc by Maja Fowkes uncovers the history of artistic engagement with the natural environment in the Eastern Bloc. David Crowley recommends the book: "Measuring progress in tons of wheat or coal, the communist authorities in Eastern Europe treated the natural environment as little more than a resource to be ruthlessly exploited. But, as Maja Fowkes shows in her pioneering book, environmentally minded artists in Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia in the 1970s found highly creative ways of testing official indifference to the effects of industrial modernity. Most of their artworks and actions were ephemeral, leaving few traces either in the landscape or in art history. The Green Bloc is a deeply researched and vividly written act of rediscovery. " 

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

#makinguse 3

A text to be activated, one of protocols by ESTAR(SER)/ The Order of the Third Bird. 
"The document reproduced here emerged in a sheaf of polyglot Nachlass attributable to Marton Bialek (1889-1966), a Francophone Transylvanian priest, orientalist, and explorer who almost certainly had ties to practicing communities of Birds in Ottoman and French Mandate territories during the interwar period. The small holograph sheet appears to represent a “protocol for sustained attention” of a sort familiar to initiates of the Order: instructions lay out a sequence of mental “postures” by which the practitioner is directed to give attentive presence to a given work of art; possible effects and ramifications follow. This brief text would thus seem to shed light on a distinctly Buddhistic strain of Bird practice in use among initiates of the Order working in Paris, Turkey, and the Levant in the early twentieth century. Interestingly, however, much earlier sources may be in play: “The Exercise of the Trochilus” appears on a scrap of foolscap pinned to Bialek’s elaborate translation/summary of three highly syncretistic manuscript scrolls he claims to have found in Chinese Turkestan during service with the third Aurel Stein expedition (1913-1916). Composed in a largely illegible aggregate of central Asian scripts, the “Rülek Scrolls”—at least on the basis of Bialek’s redaction—outline a remarkable and exigent technique for attaining psychosomatic/metempsychotic union with a material, human-made object. This ritual process, comprising elements of both acute danger and unbearable rapture, begins with close meditational attention to the object, and transits through episodes of mental transmigration, of near self-loss, and of (ideally) temporary metamorphosis. Paraphrase is quite impossible, but a full publication of Bialek’s manuscript is currently underway. Until then, it is hoped that the present text—apparently a preparatory exercise devised by Bialek to assist practitioners in readying themselves for one phase of this demanding encounter—will be of interest and use to the relevant persons." 

Monday, 4 January 2016

#makinguse 2

This is an issue #21 of PALAIS magazine (published by Palais de Tokyo, Paris), which is devoted to the extravagant exhibition Le Bord des mondes from 2015, dealing with the”coefficeint of art” beyond art. The editors write: "By exploring territories that lie outside the art world and bringing to light unique gestures that give way to new forms of creation, the exhibition “Le Bord des mondes” aims to renew and expand the field of our artistic attentiveness.” 

Saturday, 2 January 2016

#makinguse 1

We are up to our shoulders with Making Use. Life in Postartistic Times, a new project which will open at the Warsaw MoMA on the 19th of February 2016. From today until the opening (or maybe even afterwards), we will be uploading posts on the books which are related to the project. Making Use. Life in Postartistic Timesthe is engaged with the various ways of migrating from the field of art to daily life and in the reverse direction—from life to art. It addresses one of the fundamental postulates of  twentieth-century avant-garde movements—the mutual penetration or even fusion of art and everyday life. The first book is quite obvious, it is Toward a Lexicon of Usership by Stephen Wright. Wight (who has accepted the position of the "shadow curator") - whose writngs was a point of departure for this exhibition - postulates a deconstruction of “conceptual edifices” that have provided the foundations of institutionalized art since the nineteenth century. As counter to this edifice, Wright proposes a model of art that implements its own potential—imagination-driven and conceptual—through the process of making use. Such postulates operate on a 1:1 scale, akin to a map that begins to overlap with the actual territory that it represents. Wright is looking for strength in the weakness of art; the theorist disputes Kantian “purposeful purposelessness,” the need to replicate existing systems, the rigours of ownership and authorship, and the haughtiness of so-called “expert” culture.

Friday, 1 January 2016


Conceptiforms. Concrete Poetry 1967 - 2003 is an unique monograph of Stanisław Dróżdż, which was due to be published in 2003, six years before the artist's death. The whole material, which is based on the idea of transfering (back) the concrete poems from the white cube to the book, was left untouched and unchanged. Now it's out, hundred of pages full of letter fences, questions marks and hour-glasses.