Issues

May Waver, Instagram Video Glitch, 2015, Digital Image, Courtesy of the artist

May Waver and the Sound of Sincerity

May Waver and the Sound of Sincerity

I first discovered May Waver’s work on Twitter, which makes sense. She’s an online persona, IRL online avatar, and interdisciplinary artist. Her work earnestly explores the consumption and practice of …

Erin Wiersma. Selection from the Examen series, 2015; dispersed pigment on paper; 31 x 33 inches. Courtesy of the artist. © Erin Wiersma.

Still Points in Erin Wiersma’s Drawings

Still Points in Erin Wiersma’s Drawings

In June, I visited the studio of Erin Wiersma at the Two Coats of Paint Residency in the neighborhood of Downtown Brooklyn. Sharon Butler—artist, writer, and founder of the Two Coats …

Lars von Trier. Nymphomaniac: Volume I, 2013 (film still). © Lars von Trier.

Dogma (9 to 5)

Dogma (9 to 5)

Sincerity is almost always associated with goodness. A sincere person is understood to be earnest, honest, and straightforward. It is assumed he or she will not lie, cheat, or steal; …

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Sincerity’s Checkered Past

Sincerity’s Checkered Past

I’m thinking about sincerity and the fact that it has had such a checkered past in Western culture, going in and out of vogue. At times, sincerity has been lauded …

1.	Constance Hockaday. From All These Darlings and Now Us, 2014. Selection from project documentation; dimensions variable. Courtesy Southern Exposure, San Francisco. © Constance Hockaday.

By Invitation Only

By Invitation Only

In 2009, Theaster Gates purchased the first of several vacant properties that would become the site for Dorchester Projects, on the South Side of Chicago. It was both an act …

Summer Wheat, "A Lady's Dinner." Oil paint and gorilla glue, on a dinner plate. 11" diameter. Copyright Summer Wheat.

Passing Through

Passing Through

In my early twenties, I took Greyhound buses across the country, outfitted with my cassette tapes and philosophy books, in search of meaning.  Traveling through North Dakota, I sat next …

Damali Abrams, 2015. A sticker seen on 125th Street, on the way to an artist talk at the Studio Museum in Harlem, representing the Very Black Project, a contemporary Black pride movement spearheaded by André D. Singleton and Justin Lee Fulton, which spreads a message of empowerment through social media, stickers, and T-shirts. Courtesy Damali Abrams. © Damali Abrams

The Sincerest Form of #BlackJoy May Be Art, but Who Can Say for Sure?

The Sincerest Form of #BlackJoy May Be Art, but Who Can Say for Sure?

The artist talk is a peculiar form of presentation, a sincere attempt to communicate something beyond the work of art. For most artists, the artwork itself is the language. Artists …

Nicole Eisenman. The Triumph of Poverty, 2009. Oil on canvas, 65 x 82 inches. Courtesy the artist, Anton Kern Gallery, New York, and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects. © Nicole Eisenman.

Irony, Sincerity…Is There a Third Pill?

Irony, Sincerity…Is There a Third Pill?

I will begin with a quote from Eric Fischl: “There’s nothing insincere about irony.” I couldn’t agree more. And I can’t bear the presumed opposition any longer. Can’t sincerity and …

Swarovski Crystal, New Hampshire, 2015. Photograph: Jacquelyn Gleisner.

Letter from the Editor

Letter from the Editor, Jacquelyn Gleisner

Letter from the Editor

Letter from the Editor, Jacquelyn Gleisner

I want to tell you about the most sincere guy I’ve ever known. In 2004, when I was an art student at Boston University, I responded to a part-time job …

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Makeup and Birdcalls

Makeup and Birdcalls

Makeup Back in the 1950s—though it could have happened yesterday—the artist Marisol was invited to be on a panel with four older and more-established male artists. The first brilliant thing …

Artist Jamian Juliano-Villani in her Bedford-Stuyvesant studio, Brooklyn, NY, 2015. Production still from the ART21 "New York Close Up" film "Jamian Juliano-Villani's Painting Compulsion". © ART21, Inc. 2015.

Jamian Juliano-Villani’s Painting Compulsion

Jamian Juliano-Villani’s Painting Compulsion

Filmed in her Bedford-Stuyvesant studio, artist Jamian Juliano-Villani uses a digital projector to create surreal paintings and discusses the graphic source material that inspires her.

Baby Arrington de Dionyso and his family, 1976.

The Chosen Ones

The Chosen Ones

We are born with family, and we find our chosen family. Often whom we select overshadows our biology. Not always, but sometimes. It’s a balance. Peregrine Honig and Arrington de Dionyso …

Lise Haller Baggesen. Mothernism, 2014; image of book cover. Photo: Poor Farm Press.

Lise Haller Baggesen: On the Mother-Shaped Hole in Contemporary Art

Lise Haller Baggesen: On the Mother-Shaped Hole in Contemporary Art

I recently visited my former home, Chicago, to cohost a public program that I organize with fellow founding editors of Los Angeles–based print magazine VIA Publication. “I Like Your Work” …

Rashawn Griffin. Fissure, 2013; fabric, wood, lighting fixture, speakers, sound (59:23); 88 x 129.5 x 155.5 in.

Itinerant Domestic

Itinerant Domestic

I first encountered the engrossing work of the multimedia artist Rashawn Griffin (b. 1980) in a 2014 group exhibition, The Center is a Moving Target, at Kemper at the Crossroads, …

Bukola Koiki. I Claim That Which Was Never Mine, 2014; detail of installation. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Samantha Estrella.

On Returning Home and Works in Progress: A Conversation with Bukola Koiki

On Returning Home and Works in Progress: A Conversation with Bukola Koiki

I first learned about Bukola Koiki’s art through Facebook. She posted an essay about her work in the group named “BCC: BrownHall Community,” a networking forum for Black artists in …

The Source Family, gathered for a portrait in front of the Father House. Courtesy of The Fox is Black (http://thefoxisblack.com/2013/05/30/polygamy-meets-god-in-l-a-a-film-review-of-the-source-family/).

Behind Voids and Dissonance: Experimental Music of Fluxus and the Source Family

Behind Voids and Dissonance: Experimental Music of Fluxus and the Source Family

“Purge the world of bourgeois sickness, ‘intellectual,’ professional and commercialized culture; Purge the world of dead art, imitation, artificial art, abstract art, illusionistic art—PURGE THE WORLD OF ‘EUROPANISM!’” [1]. Written with …

Kristy Baltezore. Thinking In Donuts , 2015.

Personal Digital Networks

Personal Digital Networks

Sara Schnadt and Kristy Baltezore met three years ago at the kitchen table of their mutual friend and fellow new-media artist Rob Ray, who is like a chosen family member. …

Ray Anthony Barrett, "Sly and the Family Ties" (2015), ink on paper, 8 1/2 x 11 inches. Image courtesy of the artist. Special commission for the FAMILY Issue of Art21 Magazine (May/June 2015).

Letter from the Editor, Alicia Eler

Letter from the Editor, Alicia Eler

One’s experience of family can be joyous, painful, bizarre, revelatory, and intimate. To describe it with any single word wouldn’t do it justice. Like a parade, it’s a cacophony of …

Shawné Michaelain Holloway, "a_personal_project, IV: password protected thaumatrope, security measures for a caged bird.mov" (2014)

Subverting Mass Media: The Collection of the Girls of the Internet Museum Accentuates Sincerity

Subverting Mass Media: The Collection of the Girls of the Internet Museum Accentuates Sincerity

Gaby Cepeda, an independent curator based in Lima, Peru, founded the Girls of the Internet Museum as a way to archive Internet works made by an international group of women. Controlled …

Lisa Ross, photograph from Drag photos (1991-1993).

Mom in the Mirror

Mom in the Mirror

In December 2013, I received a master’s degree in psychoanalysis at the Center for Modern Psychoanalytic Studies in New York, the same institute where my mother trained, starting in the …

From the photo series Unmonumental, 2008–present: (top left) N. 14th Street; (top right) Couch Potato, Manhattan Ave.; (bottom right) Banker St., New Year’s Day; (bottom left) Friday, Greenpoint. All images 2015.

Copy That!

Beauty Is in the Streets

Copy That!

Beauty Is in the Streets

Walking the city streets offers the unexpected. I find interesting things, mostly garbage, some of it recently thrown away. My discoveries come in two parts: first, the reaction of surprise, …

Figures 16-19: Old symbols with new signification.

The Zone

The Zone

The Zone is an ongoing research project that has different extensions; previously it has been shown as a multiscreen video and sound installation at the New Art Exchange and the …

Kameelah Janan Rasheed. No Instructions for Assembly I, 2013 (detail); digital chromogenic print; 16” x 24”. Courtesy of the artist. Photo © Kameelah Janan Rasheed.

New Kids on the Block

The Archives of Kameelah Rasheed

New Kids on the Block

The Archives of Kameelah Rasheed

The artist Kameelah Rasheed was twelve years old in 1998, when her family—mother, father, and four brothers—had lost their home. The value of land in northern California near East Palo …

Minerva Cuevas. Offshore, 2014. Oil on compressed wood covered in tar; 40 x 36 ½ inches. Photo by the author.

Audible Afterimages

Audible Afterimages

Collapse: Abandoned to the indifference of physical nature, any neglected artifact disintegrates. Places too are social artifacts, architectural masses sustained in space by forms of life. When customs falter or …

Imponderabilia; exhibition view, Marina Abramović: The Artist is Present, 2010; Museum of Modern Art, New York. Re-performed by Maria S.H.M. (left) and Abigail Levine (right); security guards not pictured. Photo: Scott Rudd.

Being Protected

Being Protected

During the spring of 2010, I spent several hours each day, usually unclothed, either standing, sitting, lying, or perching on a bicycle seat in the sixth-floor galleries of the Museum …

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Elite Properties

Elite Properties

There are ruins, and then there are ruiners. Urban areas in the western hemisphere no longer develop organically—or with regard to geographical features or agricultural or even industrial needs—but rather …

Jewel’s Catch nightclub, 2015. Photo: Lex Brown.

The Catch

The Catch

I am a transplant to Los Angeles, I’m a person of color, and I live in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood. Witnessing and doing my best not to accelerate these changes, …

View of the East River from Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park. Photo: Erin Sweeny.

Rooms With A View

Rooms With A View

“Treat your body like it belongs to someone you love.” I spied this sentence in a health-food store recently. My thoughts wandered to catchphrases spouted in yoga classes, talking about …

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Letter from the Editor, Clarinda Mac Low

Letter from the Editor, Clarinda Mac Low

To be ruined is to be spoiled beyond repair. It is “downfall, complete destruction, overthrow.” Ruin is the Tower card in the tarot deck—upheaval and harsh displacement, lightning striking, an …

FEATURED IMAGE_02 Goldin Senneby Headless From the Public Record

Offshore Art: Artistic Strategies in a Ruined Democracy

Offshore Art: Artistic Strategies in a Ruined Democracy

The term post-democracy has recently emerged in political theory and sociology as part of an effort to grasp the contemporary social order. The term is used by theorists such as …

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Three Muddled Blueprints for Ruin

Three Muddled Blueprints for Ruin

Please read the document that follows as a makeshift “program”, “manifesto”, “list of demands”, “wish list”, or “totally impenetrable academic nonsense” in favor of the moderately counterintuitive project of trying …

Capilla del Rosario inside the Templo Conventual de Santo Domingo de Guzmán, Puebla, Mexico.

Alchemy in the Making

Alchemy in the Making

What questions arise when an artist encounters new materials?

Still from The Great Flood. 2013. USA. Directed by Bill Morrison. Courtesy of Bill Morrison.

Writer-in-Residence

The Ghosts Unearthed in the Films of Bill Morrison

Writer-in-Residence

The Ghosts Unearthed in the Films of Bill Morrison

Writer-in-Residence Brienne Walsh looks at the contemporary digital narratives of filmmaker Bill Morrison.

Asher Hartman's "Purple Electric Play!" performed at Machine Project, Los Angeles, 2014. Courtesy of the artist. Photo by Marianne Williams.

Asher Hartman’s Ritualistic Marathons

Asher Hartman’s Ritualistic Marathons

For twenty years, the Los Angeles–based artist and performer Asher Hartman has created spaces that foster deeply psychic intuition and allow audiences to create as a group.

Vincent Como. Procession of Dust (Entropy, Ontology, and the Hubris of Mankind) 002, 2014. Frame, double-sided tape, dry pigment; 16 x 20 inches. Courtesy of the artist and MINUS SPACE, Brooklyn, NY, © Vincent Como.

New Kids on the Block

The Absurd Magic of Vincent Como

New Kids on the Block

The Absurd Magic of Vincent Como

Vincent Como would never describe his work as magical, yet his work is rife with mysticism.

El Anatsui. Dzesi II, 2006. Aluminum and copper wire; 117 x 195 inches. Collection of the Akron Art Museum, Akron, Ohio. Courtesy the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. © El Anatsui.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Creative Chemistries

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Creative Chemistries

When artists and educators get together, extraordinary things can happen.