Yearly Archives: 2010

Call for Proposals: Temporary Public Art in NW Pasadena, $1,000 honoraria

The Armory Center for the Arts is seeking proposals from Southern Californian artists and architects for a temporary site-specific Land/Environmental art installation or structure in a vacant lot in Northwest Pasadena.

Proposals are due via email by May 15th. Winner will be notified by May 31st. Winning project will be installed in June and run from July – December, 2010.

A $1,000 honorarium will be provided to the selected artist/architect to cover expenses related to the creation of the work.

Download complete details and application requirements at:

Click to access transplanter_public_art_cfp.pdf

laculturenet : Message: Call for Proposals: Temporary Public Art in NW Pasadena, $1,000 honoraria.

A High Desert Test Sites Lecture & Workshop Series

Saturday May 1st-Sunday May 2nd 2010

2-Day Workshop in Joshua Tree, 12 students, $120 fee

The New Everyday Live is an endeavor designed to both stimulate conversation and catalyze action by considering overlap between contemporary art and craft, sustainable living, survival skills, ecology and earth science, and cultural variation. Each participant in The New Everyday Life will leave with a new set of skills and inspirations, after intimately experiencing the Mojave desert’s unique context for life and living.

Only a few spots left as of 4/21. Email

For more information go to:


Matthias Merkel Hess of Eco Art Blog has a New Project, looking for your help!

I haven’t been posting on the Eco Art Blog recently; as I’ve said before, others are doing a better job at that than I have the time for. Also, the end of grad school has piled on a lot of time-consuming activities, like mounting a thesis show.

But I am happy to announce a new project I’m working on at the 18th Streets Arts Center in Santa Monica, California. It’s called Fine Art 626-394-3963, and I’m inviting you to call or email me to talk about art and what you want from artists and the institutions that show art work.

The project really needs your participation, so I hope you’ll call or email. For more, visit the project blog at

Go to Eco Art Blog

PEN American Center – Weather Report: What Can We Do?

When: Thursday, April 29

Where: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium, 83rd Street and Fifth Avenue, New York City

What time: 8–9:30 p.m.

With Jostein Gaarder, James Hansen, Frederic Hauge, Bjørn Lomborg, Bill McKibben, Andrew Revkin, and Cynthia Rosenzweig; moderated by Robert Silvers

Tickets: $25/$20 PEN Members/The Metropolitan Museum of Art Members and New York Review of Books subscribers; or (212) 868-4444. For Member discount code, please contact Lara Tobin at or (212) 334-1660 ext. 126.

“What Can We Do?” brings together on one panel some of the premier scientists and writers from the U.S. and Scandinavia: Frederic Hauge, founder and director of the international environmental organization the Bellona Foundation; Bjørn Lomborg, an Adjunct Professor at Copenhagen Business School and author of the controversial The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World and Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist’s Guide to Global Warming; Jostein Gaarder, author of the internationally-acclaimed novel Sophie’s World and creator of the Sophie Prize; Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature, Earth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet, and numerous other books; James Hansen, one of the world’s leading climatologists and author of Storms of My Grandchildren; and author and environment journalist Andrew Revkin, whose biography of Chico Mendes, formed the basis of the feature film The Burning Season. Cynthia Rosenzweig is co-chair of the New York City Panel on Climate Change, a body of experts convened by the mayor advising the city on adaptation for its critical infrastructure. The New York Review of Books editor, Robert Silvers will guide the discussion about how we can turn back the tides of global warming.

For more information: PEN American Center – Weather Report: What Can We Do?.


It is the 34th session of UNESCOs General Conference in October 2007 that decided the Second World Conference should take place as soon as possible and accepted the invitation of the Korean Government to host this event.

Following the ongoing preparation through numerous initiatives across the world, this conference in Seoul aims to promote and to reinforce the value of quality arts education for all, in developing a capacity for creativity in the 21st century for youth and all generation.

The significance and value of arts education has already been underlined and expressed in the “Road Map for Arts Education”, resulting from the First World Conference on Arts Education held in Lisbon, Portugal, in 2006. It is now the time to focus on encouraging the implementation of the “Road Map”. Furthermore, this new global encounter in Seoul of art education actors will target to highlight the socio-cultural dimensions of arts education and reinforce research and knowledge of practices, ensuing from new conceptual and methodological tools.


Propaganda stops thinking: an interview with Steve Kurtz.

It reads like a movie. It is a movie. It’s the subject of a documentary called Strange Culture as well as an exhibition, and its main character, Steve Kurtz, tells his story in university halls and in newspapers.

The story goes: in 2004, Kurtz’s wife had a heart attack. The emergency officials that responded to his 911 call noticed blacked-out windows and various sorts of medical equipment. Folks who knew Kurtz knew that that the equipment was for his ongoing work with the Critical Art Ensemble. The Ensemble had, among other things, created an artwork by reverse-engineering GMO soy. The blacked-out windows? Well, Kurtz likes to sleep late.

But the aftermath of that call resulted not only in the death of his wife but an series of subpoenas and indictments that accused Kurtz of domestic terrorism and, when that wouldn’t stick, mail fraud. All charges were finally dropped in 2008 after years of legal fundraising and outcry. Kurtz was kind enough to give an interview to to catch us up on how he’s recovering, and what sort of terrorist acts CAE is up to next. Read on. It’s better than a movie.

GM.B: How is life?

SK: Life is returning to normal. It’s certainly much more relaxed. My body is pretty much healed now after 4 years of neglect and stress.

GM.B: How has your perspective on the world changed since 2004? Has the trial upended or just confirmed your worldview of American government and power?

SK: My perspective is pretty much the same. Most adjustments stemmed from the removal of neoconservatives from positions of political power. It’s back to the global struggle against neoliberalism, as opposed to the more national struggle against neofascism (the neocons) in the US. It’s back to the future to take up where we left off in 1999.

GM.B: Michale Brenson argues in his book “Visionaries and Outcasts” that the critical outsider role traditionally filled by the American artist has been scrambled and undermined since the collapse of the Soviet Union. What do you think the role of the American artist is?

SK: Who knows? There are so many art worlds and models of being an artist that no generalization really holds up. Critical Art Ensemble’s (CAE) role has been to produce anti-authoritarian narratives and images, invent tactics and tools for resistance, and explore new sites of contestation.

GM.B: Is it the responsibility of the artist to address critical issues like civil rights and the environment?

SK:I would say that’s a bit too prescriptive. There are so many issues that need addressing, and great disagreement about which are most important. Just don’t be naïve. All cultural production has a politics. One should be aware of the political economy that envelops us, and how one is navigating and negotiating it.

GM.B: What’s the difference between art and propaganda?

SK: Propaganda stops thinking. Overtly political cultural production advances it. Propaganda must exhaust itself on impact. It must leave nothing more to be said. The receiver of propaganda’s message must consume it as something self-evident and respond in an emotive manner. Cultural production creates situations for dialogue, exploration and experimentation, and even space for the interrogation of our most beloved narratives (human rights, social justice, free speech, world peace, sustainability, etc.).

GM.B: The trial has brought the work of Critical Art Ensemble national attention and had made you a kind of poster man for artists’ civil rights. Its artifacts were the subject of their own exhibition. You’ve been invited to speak on the subject extensively. How do you feel it will continue to shape your work and the work of the Ensemble?

SK: It’s an event that we are stuck with. We certainly minimize talking about it. The only reason we did an exhibition on the case was that we thought it would help with transparency while I was at trial. I never went to trial but the exhibitions had already been scheduled, so we went ahead with them. CAE has no plans to make any more work about the case. At the same time, while I like to think of case as in the past, I realize it is historic in its significance, so I have to be the poster boy to some extent, like it or not.

GM.B: What would your wife have thought of all of this?

SK: About the case? She would have been off the charts angry. Hope was a very emotional woman who had a real problem with authority–especially when it is arbitrary in its use/abuse of power. I can remember in the days before she died, as rights were rapidly eroding–she would yell at the reports, “We’ll never give up; we’ll never surrender!” I think that is how she would have felt about the case too. As for the dismissal, she would have been delighted. She loved it when those brief glimpses of the impossible manifest themselves. It’s not often that we get to humiliate a US Attorney for four years.

GM.B: What are you working on now? What’s coming up in the future?

SK: CAE is making a temporary monument to economic inequality in the US. We are modeling the proportional spatial relationship between quintiles of wealth. While the first four quintiles, represented by a banner, will rise about 43 feet into the air, if we stacked on the proportional wealth of the top quintile, the entire monument would have to reach up another 257 feet. Since we can’t make a monument that high, we are going to use hot air balloons to take people up to this height.

The other project is about the use of the so-called “dirty bomb” as an instrument for state propaganda. I suppose this goes back to your earlier question. We intend to recreate the hype. With the help of a great curator in Germany, we have hired a professional demolition team to safely set off a bomb with a non-radioactive, metallic tracer simulant in an urban area in Germany. We’ll have people in Hazmat suits with metal detectors. However, we will also set up a PA system in the crater where a panel consisting of a nuclear scientist and a radiological weapons expert will speak to the public about the actuality of making, deploying, and detonating a dirty bomb. The reality is that weapon is basically a myth. For a truly harmful one to be built it would require state sponsorship. It not something any terrorist could ever do, nor is it a “poor man’s nuke.” If we don’t take the “dirty bomb” as a self evident threat (its propaganda form), and instead look at it from a reflective reasoned position, it’s easy to understand that there is nothing to fear, and that the state is using this image for other more nefarious purposes. For example, to produce fear in the population, unquestioned acceptance of authoritarian agendas, and ever greater budgets for the military.

GM.B: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

SK: “Never surrender.”

Go to the Green Museum


An Excerpt from Daniel Boese’s article in ARTFORUM on Wooloo’s “New Life Coppenhagen”.

“We work in the medium of hospitality,” Rosengaard says. The “New Life” project created the possibility for strangers to share their homes and experiences, to thus collaborate under the broad goal of addressing climate change in a global conference and treaty. All participants created the work together, unlike public art projects in which artists serve as teachers for a lay public. Individual acts of hospitality create hope in the face of planetary ecological crisis; strangers can agree and cooperate. But our heads of state did not follow suit; they failed to usher in an age of global cooperation at the summit. “New Life” walked the line between art and activism in a new way, updating tactics pioneered by Beuys, Gran Fury, and the Russian Constructivists: Times have changed, and the problems have only become more urgent.