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Saturday this and that


Here’s a short list of four great and interesting things from the inbox.

This one is close to my heart since it’s an art giveaway. PaperGirl out of Berlin organizes giveaways of real art to complete strangers on the streets of a busy city. PaperGirl is now in New York state — they did a project in Albany and they’re organizing for a fall event in New York city.  If you want to participate, PaperGirl NYC is looking for submissions of your real art (due Aug 1) — art can be any size, shape and material but must be “quality, original and rollable,” as in, they roll it up like a scroll and hand it out to people in its rolled scroll format.

All the art will be photographed and put on a website with your contact info.  Your contact information on the website will allow people to get in touch with you to see more of your art, or buy something.

The originals will be exhibited in three galleries around New York  (Dumbo Art Center Aug 24-26; The Armory, Aug 27-29; The Marketplace Gallery Sept 3-6).  Nothing will be sold out of the shows, and after the exhibits the pieces are “distributed at random to people on the street via bicycle.”  See video about the giving away of art in Berlin.  And here’s a cute minute-long video using paper pop ups about the New York project.

According to Sina Basila the NY coordinator, “The lucky receivers of these rolls may be exposed to artwork that they wouldn’t have normally come across. Instead of waiting for people to come to the art, we bring the art to the people.”


Album of Ye Jinglu, discovered and collected by Tong Bingxue, 1901-1968, 62 black and white photographs, © Tong Bingxue 

This is probably the best press release for a biennial I’ve ever gotten. Just the numbers, no fluffy puffy in a list of 29 items. 29 numbers that describe aspects of the show, organized by Massimiliano Goino, which runs Sept. 3-Nov. 7, 2010 in Gwangju, South Korea. The show’s title (I guess biennials have titles now) is 10,000 lives, a reference to Korean poet Ko Un’s epic 30-volume poem of the same name, which he conceived while in prison for his political activism.  In the poem, Ko Un chronicles each of 3,800 people he’s met — either in the real world or in literature or other readings. Given 10,000 lives, this numerical list about the biennial is perfect: It includes routine information and more whimsical stuff.

Cindy Sherman, Untitled, 1994, c-print, © Cindy Sherman, courtesy Metro Pictures, New York.  Sherman is in the Quangju Bienniale

Excerpts from the list of 29 factoids about the Qwangju Bienniale

134: Number of artists in the exhibition.

28: Number of artists’ nationalities.

104,883.54: Square feet of exhibition space.

7: Hours of time difference between Gwangju and GMT.

66: Duration of the exhibition in days.

1901: Date of earliest work in the Biennale, a studio portrait of Ye Jinglu whose collection of annual studio portraits was unearthed by Tong Bingxue.

62: Number of times Ye Jinglu had himself photographed between 1901 and 1968.

1986: Year of birth of Ataru Sato, youngest living artist in the exhibition.

80: Number of admission photographs of prisoners from the Khmer Rouge’s Tuol Sleng Prison exhibited in the
Biennale, from the approximately 6,000 surviving negatives.

3000: Number of photographs of people with teddy bears included in Ydessa Hendeles’s The Teddy Bear Project (2002). The contents of the piece required four 40 ft. containers to be shipped to Gwangju.

1/10,000,000,000: Speed, in seconds, of the Raptronic camera, invented by Dr. Harold Edgerton to photograph the changing states of matter at the beginning of a nuclear explosion. One such photograph, along with Edgerton’s earlier stroboscopic photographs, will be included in the Biennale.

1: Length of time, in years, that Tehching Hsieh spent punching a time clock in his studio, every hour on the hour, producing an 8,760-image record.

-27: Number of the time capsule that Andy Warhol created for items relating to or owned by his mother.

7: Height, in centimeters, of Vertical Displacement in 7 Glass Tubes, one of Hermann Glöckner’s miniaturized maquettes for public sculptures. Executed with medicine boxes, this is the smallest work in the Biennale.

14,977: Number of emails received by Mihee Ahn, Chief of Exhibition Team, since March 2009.

Well, there’s always trouble  in copyright land, of course, that’s why there’s copyright law. But here’s is a new twist, where nobody’s being sued, just some turf is being disputed. We heard from Creative Commons’ Jane Park recently that CC –the non-profit that provides an alternative licensing method for artists and others who want to share their works — is under fire from ASCAP, the organization that represents composers, authors and publishers.

ASCAP is fundraising, using a negative campaign tactic that sounds right out of a Republican playbook. They’re charging that Creative Commons and other copyright liberalists are threats to our copyright protections. CC founding board member Lawrence Lessig wrote a piece on Huffington Post that challenges ASCAP president and chairman, Paul Williams, to a debate.

That debate sounds like a perfect TED tv moment to me. (By the way, here’s Lessig on TED tv.


I’m a reader; you’re a reader. Did you know about this free, one-day-now-in-its-10th-year National Book Festival?  Talk about hiding in plain sight!  It’s an outdoor festival on the National Mall between 3rd and 7th Sts.   All under big tents, sponsored by the Library of Congress with appearances by 70 authors in every genre from children’s books to history, fiction and science — the only thing I don’t see is zines and commix, sadly. Here’s who will be there–a who’s who of contemporary authors.

Here’s the 2010 lineup.  The Festival takes place between 10 am and 5:30 pm on Sept. 25.

•       Children: Mary Brigid Barrett, Timothy Basil Ering, Jules Feiffer, Mem Fox, Margaret Peterson Haddix, Norton Juster, Pat Mora, Marilyn Nelson, Linda Sue Park, Jerry Pinkney, James Ransome, Judith Viorst and Rosemary Wells
•       Teens & Children: M.T. Anderson, Michael Buckley, Suzanne Collins, Margarita Engle, Peter Ferguson, Phillip M. Hoose, Brad Meltzer, Katherine Paterson, Jane Smiley, Jeff Smith and Rebecca Stead
•       Fiction & Mystery: Isabel Allende, Ken Follett, Diana Gabaldon, Julia Glass, Martha Grimes, Elizabeth Kostova, Anchee Min, Karin Slaughter, Scott Spencer, Peter Straub and Scott Turow
•       Poetry & Prose: Elizabeth Alexander, Rae Armantrout, Jonathan Franzen, Gail Godwin, Allegra Goodman, Chang-rae Lee, Thomas Mallon, Orhan Pamuk, Jane Smiley and Natasha Trethewey
•       History & Biography: Adele Logan Alexander, Timothy Egan, Jules Feiffer, Wil Haygood, David E. Hoffman, Richard Holmes, James McGrath Morris, Nell Irvin Painter, David Remnick, Steven V. Roberts, Stacy Schiff, Evan Thomas and Gordon S. Wood
•       Contemporary Life: Lidia Matticchio Bastianich, Gurcharan Das, Ree Drummond, Bruce Feiler, Jonathan Safran Foer, Spike Mendelsohn, Michele Norris, Richard Rhodes, Henry Petroski, Craig Robinson, Anita Silvey, Harold Varmus and Edward O. Wilson.

Finally, here’s a really sweet video clip of Coraline author Neil Gaiman, a 2005 festival participant talking about how great an experience it was for him.


ascap, cindy sherman, creative commons, debate, lawrence lessig, national book festival, new york city, papergirl-berlin, papergirl-nyc, qwangju biennale, washington dc, ye jinglu