And Then We’ll Dissolve the State

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The panelists did not all profess to be Marxists, but each addressed the question of being an artist, art worker, or cultural within a class system. The function of art and its translation from a visual object to a Marxist statement were treated from various political and art-world points of view. As with most forums of this kind, alternatives were debated, but no course of action was ratified.

In Love with Itself

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A packed room rustled and bustled in anticipation of this star-studded panel organized by Hrag Vartanian, a former art critic who now edits the blogazine Hyperallergic. Vartanian truly “understands the Bushwick meme,” according to Peter P. Hopkins, the director of the Bogart Salon, a social space in a gallery building called 56 Bogart Street in Brooklyn. Not simply a “cheerleader,” Hopkins continued, Vartanian also “interrogates” the Bushwick art scene—whatever that means.

The Coy and Cagey Object

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The coffee break after the second section was much welcomed, but the talk by Amelia Jones, professor and Grierson Chair at McGill University in Montreal, did little to alleviate my annoyance from the previous section. Jones presented new research on how to think about art after 1960, proposing a shift from object to process and how this shift relates to globalization, digital networking, and a sense of placelessness.

Occupy Art World

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Whether it was the furor of the first few weeks of Occupy Wall Street or the popularity of the presenters, more than one hundred listeners packed the main gallery space of Art in General to hear a discussion on “what the neoliberal economy has imposed on artists,” according to one panelist, and on what the art world’s 99 percent can do to get ahead. Cosponsored by Silvershed, “Off the Clock: Working with Flexible Labor, Social Networks, and Everyday Life” allowed four panelists and a moderator to thrash out the intersections of art, labor, and community.

The Cuban Guy

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Yandro Miralles is trying not to be “the Cuban guy,” but because he has two more years as a fellow with the Cuban Artists Fund, an organization based in New York, the moniker may be unavoidable. The independent curator from Havana recently spoke about his recent activities with Cuban artists to an intimate gathering of about twenty people for the first Third Tuesday, a new public program from Independent Curators International.

Grrrl Power

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In a new publication devoted to modern and contemporary art, my writing the first essay on Riot Grrrls may seem amiss, but considering that a passion in music preceded my interest for art by a year or two—and also that it developed much more rapidly from ages fourteen to twenty-four—the topic fits. Besides, a nonfiction forum at the New School on Sara Marcus’s Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution (2010) led off the fall calendar for In Terms Of.

Right Here, Right Now

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The choruses to Billy Joel’s number-one single “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” released a couple months before the Berlin Wall fell in November 1989, and Jesus Jones’ spring 1990 hit “Right Here, Right Now,” which reached #2 on the Billboard charts, repeated in my mind at “Periodizing Contemporary Art,” a lecture held at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, on the eve of the College Art Association’s 2009 annual conference.

Tuesday Talks: Paul Chan and Jerry Saltz

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Did you get into the Paul Chan lecture? Someone at SVA said they called Columbia and were told only Columbia grad students can attend those lectures. I forgot that Jerry Saltz was also giving a talk last night. I arrived at the studios just as some fellow students were headed over there. So I went with them. It was good in Jerry’s “I’m-not-gonna-beat-around-the-bush-with-you” way. His thing is this down-to-earth, no bullshit thing. There was nothing revelatory in his talk. He said many of the same things one finds in his writing and that he regularly seems to mention.

The Left Is Still Right

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We at Global Warming Your Cold Heart attended—as a crew, a team, a gang, a mass, a tumor—a talk and discussion with Tariq Ali, the editor of New Left Review, at 16 Beaver Group (located at 16 Beaver Street in lower Manhattan), a reading and discussion group. The occasion for this talk is the publication of Ali’s book Pirates of the Caribbean: Axis of Hope. Ali stated at the beginning of his talk that he wrote this book to call our attention to some positive events taking place in Latin America, events that the current crises in the Middle East, and the Islamist resistance to Western Imperialism, the Washington Consensus, or simply, Empire have distracted us from.

Tino Sehgal Versus a World Full of Objects

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At his talk at the Guggenheim Museum last night, the artist Tino Sehgal did not say much that was all that different from the interview and article last year in Artforum, but he did clarify his position and give it more depth. The major point I got from his talk was that his art takes place on the macro level of institution and medium more than on the micro level of an individual work. He referred to this as his “set up” at one point and said that the subject of any particular piece was secondary to it.