Wednesday, September 07, 2005

SMITHSON'S FLOATING ISLAND REALIZED
Creating a new island in the middle of New York City doesn’t require a landfill, just a little ingenuity. For nine days in September, a 48-foot tugboat towing an "island" on a 30-by-90 foot barge will partially circumnavigate Manhattan on the Hudson and East rivers. The brainchild of the late earthwork artist Robert Smithson, most famous for Spiral Jetty in Utah, the flat-deck barge will hold earth, shrubs, rocks and seven specimens of trees native to the region that will rise 30 to 35 feet. Smithson drew the concept for Floating Island to Travel Around Manhattan Island in 1970, but budget and permit issues derailed the plan’s realization, and he died in a plane crash three years later. The project, budgeted at around $150,000, is a collaboration of the Whitney Museum of American Art and New York-based art group Minetta Brook, and will run from September 17 to 25, after which the trees will be moved to a permanent island and replanted in Central ParK
(Architectural Record, August 12)

THE BILBAO EFFECT HITS KENTUCKY

LAs BOOMING ART SCENE
With art schools thriving and rent cheap, Los Angeles is experiencing an affordable art boom. Smart collectors have the region mapped out. Greg Escalante, a curator at the legendary lowbrow art magazine Juxtapoz, goes to Art Annex and New Image Art to scout for Beautiful Losers-style street artists such as Neckface and the newly emerging Date Farmers. Other collectors hit art fairs, such as Supersonic, for recent graduates. More conventional galleries also display the occasional steal, including the blue-chip L.A. Louver as well as Wilshire Boulevard galleries ACME, Marc Foxx, and Marc Selwyn Fine Art.(Los Angeles Times, August 25)

NEISTAT BROTHERS
The Neistat Brothers shoot homemade movies with their Sony video camera and edit them on an iMac. One of their early successes, from 2001, shows Van illegally biking through Holland Tunnel during rush hour. The brothers gained immediate fame with the 2003 Internet release of iPod's Dirty Secret, which captures them taking Casey's argument with Apple straight to the streets. The website received more than a million hits and major media attention. Next, they were invited to show Mousetrap, in which a little creature is tempted by a tasty reward, on the big screen in Times Square and Science Experiments, a compilation of wacky shorts involving consumer goods, at the 2004 São Paulo Biennial. Notoriety has done nothing to alter their artfully outrageous nature, which was on display again in a film they made for the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council earlier this year, where they slyly mocked the organization's honorees, including Senators Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton. And their rebelliousness remains evident in their poignant reframing of scenes from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and The Breakfast Club on their website — Neistat movies that may be featured in their Paris invasion at Colette this fall. (artkrush)


Paul Laster interviews the three partners of Diller Scofidio + Renfro — Elizabeth Diller, Ricardo Scofidio, and Charles Renfro — about their architectural projects and the process of collaboration.

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