Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Book Launch at Machine Project

Thursday, July 30 at Machine ProjectWhat remains of a building divided into equal parts and distributed for reconfiguration is the second volume in the Surface Tension Supplement series dedicated to publishing documentation and critical writing on site-based practices in art, architecture and performance. This volume investigates the social and political dimensions of buildings and urban spaces, including critical reflections on recent urban planning policies in China, histories of participatory architecture, and proposals for urban farming. What remains of a building divided into equal parts and distributed for reconfiguration offers multiple perspectives on the limits and creative possibilities of the built environment.
With contributions by Rachel Allen, Ava Bromberg, Ken Ehrlich, Jesko Fezer and Mathias Heyden, Nis Rømer, Carl Michael von Hausswolff and The Land Foundation.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Lowrider as cultural machine

Attending the 17th Annual Pharaoh's Car Show in Wilmington yesterday, Ken and I marveled at the aesthetics and community of car customization. From Classic Chevrolet to stripped down Ford to souped-up trucks, the car functions as a dynamic space for cultural expression and agitation carrying across the LA streets the legacy of lowrider history, Chicano identity, and the politics of having wheels. The car literally becomes a signifying machine for the production of various meaningful codes, which galvanize specific communities around the pin-stripe, the hydraulic lift, the car stereo, each a syntax within an expansive language seeking to take it low (to duck the law). Heading back to our own car, a rather dull Ford, and turning the ignition I couldn't help but feel the textured mythology running through the car, as a site for the making of particular freedoms (imagined, fantastical, real). The car already promises the open road - modifying its body, customizing its shape, appropriating the built-in class politics running from the Chevy to the Lincoln, seems to supplement through a magnifying zeal all the potentiality found in being behind the wheel, as well as taking to the road.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Austrian Pavilion

Dorit Margreiter's contribution to the Austrian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale was a poetic exploration of the pavilion itself in the form of a 35mm film. Lasting only eight minutes, the black and white film consists mostly of slow panning shots, exploring the architecture of the (mostly) empty building. Occasionally, the viewer glimpses a fleeting moment of what looks like women rehearsing for a mannered performance. It's a quiet piece with a forceful presence. Follow the link for more information.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Krakersmonument by Jeremiah Day

A subtle monument to the squatter movement in Holland, this "talk box" in the harbor outside of Amsterdam narrates the story of a local politician who resigns over tensions regarding his past involvement with the squatter movement.

The project is on view through September 6. For more info, click here.