Articles by

<Whitney Kimball>

03/11/13 2:14pm

Chim↑Pom, Red Card, 2011. © Chim↑Pom, Courtesy of MUJIN-TO Production, Tokyo.

  • Chim↑Pom, Red Card, 2011. © Chim↑Pom, Courtesy of MUJIN-TO Production, Tokyo.

With last week’s art fairs, we’ve had enough of Manhattan to last us til April. Enough with those guys. This week is (almost) all Brooklyn.

Tuesday, March 12th

Talk: Chim↑Pom, ABC NO RIO

If you don’t do punk shows but still want a good excuse to see ABC NO RIO before it’s gone, here’s a really great opportunity. They’re bringing in Ryuta Ushiro, the co-founder of the popular Japanese activist collective Chim↑Pom, for a screening and talk. Presumably, he’ll discuss the group’s martial arts performances KI-AI 100 (100 Cheers), which took place at one of the hardest-hit sites of the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. The performance has spurred the formation of nuclear resistance groups around the country; plus, it was a hit last year at PS1.
Free, 7 PM, 156 Rivington Street, Manhattan

Salon: Tonje Bøe Birkeland and Mircea Nicolae, International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP)

You may be wondering why New York needs to many spotlight so many foreign artists these days. For one thing, starving non-profits find support from more generous governments in exchange for exposure for their artists. For another, art gets stale without new blood, and people seem to have a thing for outer Europe these days. We can hope to see something a little different on Tuesday, from photographers Tonje Bøe Birkeland and Mircea Nicolae, who will present his project Romanian Kiosk Company: a documentary examination of the last fifty years in the Romanian city of Bucharest, which was shown in the 2011 Venice Biennale.
1040 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn

Wednesday, March 13th

Talk: Muse Fuse: Martha Schwendener, NURTUREArt

NURTUREArt’s monthly salon features an impressive variety of art world luminaries, foremost among them, our own Art Fag City editors Paddy Johnson and Will Brand.
This month’s guest needs no introduction; Village Voice critic Martha Schwendener has been rallying critics on the Brooklyn Rail and in panels, writing, working with Occupy, and basically all-around ass-kicking. [Editor’s note: On Wednesday, she’ll rise to even more prominent ranks.]
7 PM, 56 Bogart, Brooklyn

Helmut Smits, A Plastic Plant Acting Like a Real One by Losing Its Leaves, 2009. Image courtesy of Helmut Smits.

  • Helmut Smits, “A Plastic Plant Acting Like a Real One by Losing Its Leaves,” 2009. Image courtesy of Helmut Smits.

Thursday, March 14th

Opening: Some Things, Beginnings

Dutch artist Helmut Smits makes nutty discoveries and puts them on display. This includes objects like “A Plastic Plant Acting Like a Real One by Losing Its Leaves” or “Nine to Five,” a thermometer timer switch set from 9:00 to 5:00 PM. As the press release aptly sums up, “[Smits] celebrates seemingly quick observations of objects, situations and environments, and then gives them back to you, as if they were gifts.” Silly Danes.
7-10, 110 Meserole Ave, Brooklyn

Friday, March 15th

Opening: stripped.striated.poured, Storefront Bushwick

Carrie Yamaoka has been making vague, photographic resin-coated panels for many years, and with some degree of success. In 2004, Roberta Smith spoke very highly of the work, likening these to Robert Ryman’s delicate white surfaces, and traditional Japanese ceramic glazes. She wrote: “However you parse them, her efforts intimate a rejuvenation of Minimalism, spurred by new materials, more refined techniques and fresh ideas.”
6-9 PM, 16 Wilson Avenue, Brooklyn

Saturday, March 16th

Opening Party: Rochelle Feinstein, Higher Pictures

Rochelle Feinstein makes art-about-art with an unusually critical, socially-conscious edge. Her paintings, which deconstruct the language of painting—and language in general—have warranted a two-part show at Higher Pictures and On Stellar Rays. Both are similarly discerning galleries, so it should be doubly worth a visit.
Opening Party, 8-10 PM, 980 Madison Avenue

03/08/13 10:51am

Daniel J. Wilson, 9Y40

  • Daniel J. Wilson, “9Y40”

Wednesday, a handicap taxi with a Richard Nixon hood ornament came to pick me up outside the Gershwin Theater parking lot. I’d come to claim my free ride to the Armory from artist Daniel J Wilson, where he’s displaying his sound piece— conversations he’s recorded from his passengers, collaged by his composer/musician sister Catherine Wilson.

We shot the shit for a little while and circled the block. Wilson, a thirty-something Canadian native, told me about cab school (“everybody hates questions”), driving the 5-5 shift, how his fluent English earned him the nickname “American Boy” over at the dispatch. “People were really nice to me in the garage in general, I think they thought there was something wrong with me,” he joked.

The audio mimics a day in the life, starting out with him picking up the cab, progressing from conversations about business, to friends, to relationships, to bars. When we started around eleven minutes in, the carefree conversations sounded as though people were going home. A surfer talking about finding the rhythm of the waves feeds into nonsensical performance art talk, which becomes a woman explaining time to her baby. “And we did have mommy time, and daddy had Max time,” she explains in a sugary baby voice. “And Max had mommy time, when max and mommy went to the doctor, and then we had special daddy and mommy time.”

The collage gives you the feeling of drifting off the sleep, touching lightly on people’s hopes and anxieties but never sticking with their world long enough to get sucked in. “My world is from Jack-son-ville, Florida,” says a tipsy college-age girl. “What’s the difference from Jacksonville?”
“It’s Florida,” her bro friend replies. “Florida, white trash, in a southern area.” She giggles.

The tone picks up speed when people talk about relationships. “What frustrated me, she said to me all the time, the entire thing, I sat there and took it, but she was like you’re just using me for sex!” a guy tells his friend. “Get the fuck outta here!” His friend laughs. Then a woman pops in: “that’s the awesome part about your career as a woman, you can choose what kind of man you want.”

And just when it was getting juicy, we were at the Armory. I wanted to stay longer, but, as Daniel had observed earlier, “people only show you bits and pieces, anyway.”

To get a ride today or Saturday, look for the cab with the Richard Nixon hood ornament outside Scope, Volta, the Armory, the ADAA Art Show, Fountain Art Fair, Independent, Moving Image, and SPRING/BREAK Art Show. Or make an appointment with Daniel at

03/01/13 11:43am

Rollin Leonard, Franky 5 Circles. GIF courtesy of

  • Rollin Leonard, “Franky 5 Circles.” GIF courtesy of

We learned through the grapevine this week that there’s a new net art gallery coming to Bushwick. Transfer is scheduled to open March 16th, and we’re excited.

It’s founded and privately funded by independent curator Kelani Nichole, a net art maven well known for her work with the collectively-run Little Berlin Gallery based in Philadelphia. There, she became known for curating the likes of F.A.T. Lab, Manifest.AR, and Computers Club. Her last endeavor “get>put>” tried to bridge the gap between physical and digital space, with a gallery show that coincided with an HTML download version from Rhizome.

“Transfer will very much be continuing that line of thought,” Nichole told me over the phone yesterday. “We’re building a stripped-down e-commerce platform, where we’re going to sell smaller collection items of editioned work ahead of the show.” Those sales will fund a subsequent solo show by each artist, with all proceeds going toward travel and installation expenses. “It’s a sort of kickstarter spirit, where you can collect smaller pieces in order to support the artists’ work,” she explained.

In the upcoming solo shows at Transfer, Alexandra Gorczynski will be selling a book; ASCII artist A. Bill Miller will be selling inkjet prints; Lorna Mills will be selling gifs on devices. Fans of Animal’s Very Short Film Fest will take note of GIF magician Rollin Leonard. And you can expect to meet stalwarts— Rick Silva, Carla Gannis and Justin Petropoulos, LaTurbo Avedon, and G.H. Hovagimyan grace the exhibition calendar so far. Woohoo!

We’re also interested because Transfer’s fundraising model parallels that of Bushwick’s other new arrival, Auxiliary Projects; there, artists are exclusively selling affordable, miniature objects to supplement their larger work. Let’s hope the model sticks.

Image for Alexandra Gorczynskis Truisms, opening March 16th

  • Image for Alexandra Gorczynski’s “Truisms,” opening March 16th
02/21/13 1:55pm

Cover by the Vancouver-based collaborative White-Swallows, Image courtesy of Happiness

  • Cover by the Vancouver-based collaborative White-Swallows, Image courtesy of Happiness

If you’re googling for emerging underground comics these days, the Happiness tumblr is a good place to start. I’m biased because I know founder Leah Wishnia from art school, but based on a recent phone call for this piece, Brooklyn’s main art comic dealer Desert Island thinks so, too. In the few years that she’s been self-publishing her biannual anthology, she’s been hitting the road, collaborating, kicking ass, and taking names; trolling Happiness will lead you through a wormhole of BK comic makers (my former self included), local collectives (Dimensions, Jeans, Chromazoid), and international artists.

Several pages throw back to some of Wishnia’s own influences, the grungier 70s-90s underground comix magazines Zap!, Weirdo, Short Order (guys like Crumb, Kuchar, S. Clay Wilson). Max Clotfelter’s “Randy and Travis’ Class Collision” especially recalls the beloved pimply hick archetype who’s come to represent class critique that’s now so ingrained in the medium. Others, like Sophia Foster Dimino (by day, a Google doodler), seem to come more from the syndicated strip tradition of Gasoline Alley; the smooth, graphic scenes have the slow, telescopic feel of a Chris Ware comic.

Wishnia also makes a point of including people who don’t necessarily have a comics background, like painters Kim Westfall and Peter Shear. “I just happen to know a lot of really fucking talented artists who don’t usually work in comics, but I know that they have the right mind and skill set to make a damn good one,” she told me yesterday.

The next Happiness comes out August 2013, with a cover by Chromazoid’s Lale Westvind; Wishnia’s also at work on two new publications by Zach Hazard Vaupen and Andrew Bell.

So, you ask, are they damn good or what? See for yourself:

Max Clotfelters Class Collision, Image courtesy of Happiness

  • Max Clotfelter’s “Class Collision,” Image courtesy of Happiness

Sophia Foster Dimino, In Camera. Image courtesy of Happiness

  • Sophia Foster Dimino, “In Camera.” Image courtesy of Happiness

Leah Wishnia, Sister Must We Persist In This Image courtesy of Happiness

  • Leah Wishnia, “Sister Must We Persist In This” Image courtesy of Happiness

Aimee Lusty, Spaced Out. Image courtesy of Happiness

  • Aimee Lusty, “Spaced Out.” Image courtesy of Happiness

Peter Shear, Untitled. Image courtesy of Happiness

  • Peter Shear, “Untitled.” Image courtesy of Happiness

Garrett Young, Snowflake Image courtesy of Happiness

  • Garrett Young, “Snowflake” Image courtesy of Happiness

You can find Happiness online and at Desert Island, Nobrow in London, Quimby’s and Chicago comics in Chicago, and Floating World in Portland. Happiness does not accept cold submissions, but inquiries and links to websites are welcome.

02/14/13 12:38pm

Ai Weiwei made a boring Valentine’s Day promo for Elton John’s AIDS Foundation, but bloodsucking trend-lovers that we are, we’re gonna post it. The video will be shown tonight alongside Tracy Emin’s sarcastic love neons in Times Square. My heart goes out to you if you’re stuck there tonight.

And FYI, this is the director’s cut.

Oh yeah, and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Ai Weiwei and friend

  • Ai Weiwei and friend
02/12/13 10:26am

Untitled (Conrans I), Art Club 2000. Image for the New Museums 1993. Photo courtesy of

  • “Untitled (Conran’s I),” Art Club 2000. Image for the New Museum’s “1993.” Photo courtesy of

This week, dive into Bushwick. Let the openings wash over you as you plunge into the bi-annual gallery crawl/neighborhood party that is Beat Nite.

Also, there will be an indie video game festival at the Museum of Moving Image and an exhibition about the year 1993 at the New Museum. This week’s for you, Brooklyn.

Wednesday, February 13th

Conference: College Art Association, Hilton New York

A massive academic art conference abounds with art world luminaries. Do you burn for “Cultivating Nature as Art: Dialogues on the Rustic Garden in the Long Eighteenth Century and the Contemporary Practice of Organic Art in the Landscape Post-1960”? Probably not, but some of these sound good even if you’re in art world academia: “Gender Politics in the Workplace” and “Art Criticism in Social Media” (12:30 PM- 2 PM) and “Reframing Post-Black” (2:30 PM-5 PM) this week. Personally, I’m looking forward to “Meta-Mentors: How to Make a Living as an Artist, With or Without a Dealer” (12:30 PM- 2PM) because I won’t be getting any fluff from tough broad/straight talker Magda Sawon, and it’ll introduce me to Chicago-based artist Michelle Grabner, who’s curating the Whitney Biennial next year.
(sessions between 9:30 AM- 5 PM) Hilton New York, 1335 Avenue of the Americas

Valentine’s Day: Thursday, February 14th

Opening: 1993, The New Museum

The year 1993 turns twenty, the New Museum looks back with an exhibition.
235 Bowery

Opening: Wait For Me at the Bottom of the Pool, Boo-Hooray

I’m guessing Jack Smith would encourage you to get laid on Valentine’s Day, but if that’s not happening, then go to his show opening party. Boo-Hooray is now showing his ephemera, like posters, photos, letters, collages. You have to RSVP for the opening party.
6-9 PM, 265 Canal St, 6th Floor

Friday, February 15th

Gallery crawl: Beat Nite, Bushwick

Beat Nite returns! Norte Maar hosts, Hyperallergic sponsors, and Julian Jimarez-Howard curates the neighborhood-wide gallery crawl. This time, 10 galleries will be open, so the more ambitious among us may just be able to do the whole marathon. Featuring relatively new galleries Aux Proj the Parlour and the new store Lowbrow Artique. Head to the after party at Bizarre, 12 Jefferson Street.
6-10 PM, Bushwick (map)

Openings: 27th Street

27th Street galleries Derek Eller, Wallspace, Foxy Production, Jeff Bailey, and Winkleman all have openings. Three out of four are painting.
6-8 PM, 27th street between 10th and 11th

Saturday, February 16th

Opening: The Hole and the Lump, Interstate Projects

Interstate Projects may not be on the list for Beat Nite, but come back for Berlin sculptor Rachel de Joode’s first show in the U.S. Her lumpy meditative sculpture contemplates contemplates inside and outside space.
66 Knickerbocker Ave

This Weekend

Indie video game festival: Christopher Knowles, Gavin Brown’s Enterprise

Christopher Knowles is an autistic visual artist and poet, whose measured and inquisitive poetry is probably best known for its use by Robert Wilson in operas such as Einstein on the Beach. Knowles will be performing at Gavin Brown along with his exhibition, which appears to be drawings.
4-6 PM, 620 Greenwich Street

Opening: Chinese Democracy and the Last Day on Earth, Postmaster’s

Postmasters rings in the Chinese New Year with a show about Chinese dictatorship and death. In his videos, Federico Solmi covers a 3D game environment with Ralph Steadman-like painted skins, setting the stage for an onslaught of violence which “ends in a bloody takeover of the Times Square.” And the stills are beautiful.
6-8 PM, 459 West 19th Street (at 10th Avenue)

02/07/13 2:04pm

WHOOP DEE DOO at PICA’s annual Time-Based Art Festival (TBA) SEPTEMBER 2011 from Whoop Dee Doo on Vimeo.

“What do you do in Kansas City on a Friday night? You dress up goth with your friends and hit the local cowboy bar to fuck with people,” Jaimie Warren said yesterday in a closing lecture for her solo show at the Hole. But you can only fuck with the hometown so many times, and thus, they began the travelling variety show WHOOP-DEE-DOO.

Driven by the impulse to get people out of their shells, Warren and crew began finding local niche groups that would probably never otherwise work together. For a show in Kansas City, Missouri, they paired a drag queen with a senior clogging troupe, who both happened to share all-Rhianna repertoires. “Each group was hesitant to work with the other, because they thought the other would be judgemental of them,” Warren said. “Once we got them to get over that hump, they realized they were totally ecstatic about each other and totally giddy to be working with one another. They only lived three hours apart, so we knew they would continue to work together.”

The show, which began in 2007, is now joined by a recent upswing of DIY variety shows, like Manhattan’s ESP TV, San Francisco’s Queens Nails, and Portland’s Experimental Half-Hour. But unlike the others, Whoop-Dee-Doo seems like more of a group activity than an exhibition; the artists collaborate with local kids on beautiful cardboard backdrops, creating a childlike safe zone for shit to get weird. “There’ll be Christian mimes and Celtic bag pipers and Civil War reenactors and punk bands and drag queens, and they’re all dancing together to disco music, and it’s totally nuts,” Jaimie said.

Nuts, like this modern dance take on poop by Portland’s Mizu Desierto Butoh Theatre (above, 15:23). Or Omaha’s Dancing Grannies (1:26), followed by the African Cultural Connection. Or Mount Rushmore in a staring contest (2:57). And that’s just a random sample from the many episodes you can watch online. You’ll laugh and cry and probably gag a little bit. It’s fun!

02/04/13 2:15pm

Joachim Patinir, Crossing into the Underworld, image courtesy of

  • Joachim Patinir, “Überfahrt in die Unterwelt,” image courtesy of

This week, we bravely venture out of the apartment to hear from people who’ve each blazed a trail or two themselves. We’ll see a talk and screening by Charles Atlas, portraits from Bushwick, and Jaimie Warren’s food photos one more time before they go down.

24/7 Through February 15th

Ongoing: Pioneers in Bushwick, Wyckoff Heights Medical

To hear the art scene tell it, the pioneers were the ones who colonized pre-coffee shop Bushwick in the early 2000s. So it’s refreshing to see the title of Daryl Ann-Saunders’ show of photo portraits, “Pioneers in Bushwick,” describing people who’ve lived in the neighborhood since 1975 or earlier.

The show will be taking place at the Wyckoff Heights Medical Center (open 24/7), perhaps in an attempt to put a good face on their jaw-dropping levels of corruption and negligence. Regardless of when you got here, that’s something everybody can share.
374 Stockholm Street, Bushwick

Monday, February 4th

Benefit Party: NOoSphere

No events listing is complete without a benefit party- this week, it’s NOoSphere. Since opening in 2011, the artist-run, LES, not-for-profit exhibition and performance venue has been acting as a hub for an international community of artists, and also as a link between Brooklyn and Manhattan. You want to keep this place running.
$30 for individuals, $100 for “business associates” (the mob?)
6:30-8:30. 251 East Houston, LES

Wednesday, February 6th

Talk: Jaimie Warren, The Woahs of Female Tragedy, The Hole

If you haven’t yet seen Jaimie Warren’s brilliant Cindy Sherman-meets-tumblr show, this is your last chance to do so. DO IT. Warren and her friends stage colorfully sloppy renditions of found photoshopped art history paintings and photos from Often in a goofy sneer or a Halloween wig, Warren descends on pop culture with the flamboyance of a Joan Rivers or a Roseanne Barr. You can hear her speak in person at the Hole on Wednesday.
8 PM, 312 Bowery

Thursday, February 7th

Artist Talk: Exchange: Charles Atlas, EAI

Charles Atlas has been all over New York lately, inaugurating Bushwick’s Luhring Augustine with a solo show and screening at the 2012 Whitney Biennial. Atlas is known as a major figure in New York’s queer experimental performance and video scene in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, but he began his career as Merce Cunningham’s filmmaker-in-residence for ten years. EAI will be screening some of that work, followed by a talk with the artist. Make sure to RSVP at
$7, Students $5. Free to EAI members. 6:30PM, 535 West 22nd Street, 5th floor, Chelsea

Opening: Queer and Transgender Homeless Youth in NYC 2005-2012, Strange Loop Gallery

Recent studies show that up to 40 percent of homeless youth are LGBTQ, the vast majority of whom report running away or being forced out of their homes. Samantha Box has been documenting the local population of homeless LGBTQ youth since 2005, and you can see those portraits on Thursday.
6-9 PM, 27 Orchard Street, LES

Symposium: Intangible Economies, Artists Space Books and Talks

Artists Space hosts a talk inspired by the launch of Intangible Economies, a publication of a series of texts from the thrice-yearly Vancouver-based contemporary art magazine Fillip. The editor-at-large and artist Antonia Hirsch will speak at Artists Space with Patricia Reed and Candice Hopkins about how art values are often shaped by the economy.
$5 donation, 7 PM, 55 Walker Street, Soho

01/31/13 12:06pm

Dan Edwards (left) and Peter Samson playing Spacewar! on the PDP-1 (Image courtesy of

  • Dan Edwards (left) and Peter Samson playing Spacewar! on the PDP-1 (Image courtesy of

Meet Spacewar!, the world’s first video game. Similar to Atari’s Asteroids, this two-player space shooting game was played on a 16-inch, circular retro-teal monitor, powered by a refrigerator-sized PDP-1 and a typewriter. Woooah.

It’s a fossil, but The Museum of Moving Image’s current exhibition Spacewar! demonstrates that we’ve actually been playing versions of this for the past 40 years. The top-down shooting spacecraft model (which you can play online) spawned the entire shoot-em-up genre, with games like Tempest (1981), Galaxy Force II (1988), and Starfox (1993) to genre-bending games like Portal (2007), Super Mario Galaxy 2 (2010), and XBox’s Child of Eden (2011). Also the arcade version of Star Wars (1983), which makes the movie itself seem (intentionally?) pre-tailored to the format.

Even beyond shoot-em-up, though, Spacewar! established our ideas about what a video game should be. When group of MIT students invented Spacewar! in 1961, their manifesto (the “Theory of Computer Toys”) built the railroad for video game evolution. They laid it down:

1. It should demonstrate as many of the computer’s resources as possible, and tax those resources to the limit.

2. Within a consistent framework, it should be interesting, which means every run should be different.

3. It should involve the player in a pleasurable and active way— in short, it should be a game.

And lots of shooting.

You can play a version of Spacewar! with original joysticks, along with all the games mentioned above now at the Museum of Moving Image. Open til March 3rd. Here she is:

A version of Spacewar! commissioned by the Museum of Moving Image

  • A version of Spacewar! commissioned by the Museum of Moving Image