Issue

2.21 / It Is Good to Think Good Thoughts for Everyone

July 14 2011

Introduction

July 14, 2011. In the current issue, Shannon Jackson quotes Tenderloin Economic Development Project director Elvin Padilla expressing her desired goal that individual artists “invite someone else along.” Jackson uses that phrase to evaluate the social dynamics underlying aesthetic decisions in storefront art, but it could also be understood as a litmus test that other writers apply in assessing the push and pull of the mostly digitally produced work reviewed here. For example, Brady Welch notes that the Whitney’s exhibition of Cory Arcangel’s software-hacked work can make for “an oddly emotionless interaction,” and similarly, the overall effect of David Claerbout’s video installations is one of alienation. In contrast, Genevieve Quick notes that Desirée Holman’s Heterotopias grants access to the private fantasy lives of individuals through their costume-wearing avatars. And Elyse Mallouk illuminates how Brindalyn Webster brings viewers literally into the belly of a whale as a place from which to speak. As Mallouk and Jackson both note, the invitation arises from locating the symbols that are at once expansive and tangible enough for others to find their voice in. Enjoy—PM

Features

Social Materials: Storefront Art in Central Market

Social Materials: Storefront Art in Central Market

By Shannon Jackson

The use of the arts in urban vitalization has a long experimental history, one with mixed results. Those experiments and mixtures are on the minds of those who now hope for Central Market’s transformation. If the pejorative language of urban blight sticks relentlessly to this neighborhood, it shares space with an equally unsupple discourse of urban renewal.

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Landfill: Part 4

Landfill: Part 4

By Elyse Mallouk

Webster’s projects investigate how we might construct a plan for the future out of the physical conditions existing now, by producing new myths out of existing histories. They account for the difficulty of navigating tides that shift and rise by looking backward to historical accounts, which contain elements of confusion, hubris, and optimism.

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Reviews

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