What is Pretentiousness and Does it Make Me Look Good? by Dan Fox
The word ‘pretentious’ is frequently used as a quick way of dismissing books, rubbishing exhibitions, putting down movies, slagging off music, insulting clothes or criticizing attitudes. But what does it really mean to call something pretentious? Would the world be a better place without pretension, or just more boring?
Or, to put it another way; interrogating, challenging and dancing along the boundaries of Postmodern dilletantism with particular reference to Brian Eno’s baldness, Mick Jagger’s sociopathy, class war in the late films of Joseph Losey, the struggle for hegemony in jazz and pop music as articulated by The Mighty Boosh, and Sartorial Normativity in Harlem Drag Balls.
Consistency by Tyler Rowland
Italo Calvino spent most of 1985 writing Six Memos for the Next Millennium—a monumental task of prioritizing certain special qualities within literature that he saw as valuable for the next thousand years. Essays on Lightness, Quickness, Exactitude, Visibility, Multiplicity, and Consistency were to be delivered as part of Harvard University’s famous Charles Eliot Norton Lecture series, but Calvino died the night before his departure for Cambridge, MA, leaving five complete memos on his desk ready to be packed the next morning. His widow, Ester Calvino; his translator, Patrick Creagh; and Harvard University Press published these beautiful essays in 1988. The sixth memo, “Consistency”, was never written. Supposedly, Calvino had it worked out in his head but planned to put pen to paper during his year-long residency at Harvard. Clearly his sudden death surprised even him.
Making Faces: A Genealogy of the Emoticon by Molly Kleiman & Gillian Young
According to Yahoo! Messenger, emoticons are “little characters” who “spice up your IM conversations and show friends how you feel.” In this talk, we’ll map the formal evolution, use, and reception of these symbols – from the “grotesque fancies” peopling the margins of monastic manuscripts, to the typeset faces born of 19th-century publishing, to the first “winky face” on an ARPANET message board. How do these “little characters” punctuate the development of new media? What do they say about our persistent anxieties about communicating feeling through text, with text, of text?
Tyler Rowland was born in 1978 in Reno, Nevada, raised in Phoenix, Arizona, and lives in New York. Rowland is an information-gatherer, a material-collector, and an object/tool-maker. He believes that art has social value. He uses his life, his work, his family, and his home/studio as departure points and often sacrifices or copies objects of personal value. He has shown at venues including Mass MoCA (North Adams, MA), SAPS (Mexico City), Murray Guy Gallery (NYC), GASP (Boston), More Fools in Town (Turin, Italy), and at ESL Projects, Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, and Eungie Joo’s Six Months (all in LA). He has a BA from Vassar College and an MFA from California Institute of the Arts. He has taught at Northeastern University, Massachusetts College of Art, Harvard University, and Edward Everett Elementary in the Boston area. Currently he teaches sculpture at Vassar College.
Molly Kleiman is a deputy editor of Triple Canopy, an online magazine, curatorial platform, and workspace; co-director of The Back Room, a project that facilitates workshops and exhibitions between Iran and the US; and the coordinator of the Writing Program at NYU’s Gallatin School.
Gillian Young is a PhD candidate in Art History at Columbia University, where she studies intersections of performance and technology.
DJ NO REQUESTS C. Spencer Yeh was born in Taipei, Taiwan in 1975, studied radio/television/film at Northwestern University, repped Cincinnati, Ohio over a decade, and is now based in Brooklyn, New York. Musically, Yeh is active both as a solo artist and improviser, as well as with his project, Burning Star Core. Yeh has collaborated with a deep and ever-growing list of artists and groups, including Tony Conrad, New Humans with Vito Acconci, Thurston Moore, Okkyung Lee, Paul Flaherty and Chris Corsano, John Wiese, Carlos Giffoni, Rafael Toral, Nate Wooley, Don Dietrich and Ben Hall (as The New Monuments), Amy Granat with Jutta Koether, Brian Chase, Justin Lieberman, Prurient, and Jandek.