Interview with Artist Justin Lincoln

This is the fourth in a series of 11 artist interviews I conducted in 2014 titled “a new space; artists and social media”. You can learn more about this academic research project at http://artistsandsocialmedia.tumblr.com/

http://justinlincoln.com

April 2014

Lincoln is an experimental artist and educator whom I have been following on Tumblr for about four years. He is a well known artist using social media and his recommendations to me on who else to contact for this project proved invaluable. Lincoln is concerned with how we are dealing with, for the first time in history, such huge influxes of data due to online networks. He describes the information we have now as “atomized” and, as artists, we take this information and combine them in new and meaningful ways. His practice is to incorporate other artist’s blogs, as well as own content, into a series of “blogmix” videos. This process started when he started to sees “likes” as a run-off of content that he did not want to share as he would lose followers through the sheer amount of diversity of this content. He then realized there is many types of liking, and wondered what it would look like if one were to speed scroll through them. Citing the Structural Film movement of the 70s, Lincoln sees film montages as mirroring the moving images one after another we see in our daily lives online.

 

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Interview with Artist Brad Phillips

This is the third in a series of 11 artist interviews I conducted in 2014 titled “a new space; artists and social media”. You can learn more about this academic research project at http://artistsandsocialmedia.tumblr.com/ http://www.bradphillips.ca Phillips is a visual artist based in Toronto, Canada. Noted for his presence on social media, Phillips participated in my project due to having “definite” opinions on other artists using social media. His presence is tied to his artistic process of documenting his own life autobiographically and problematizes it by manipulation. He presents an idea, a persona of a male artist that emphasizes the cliches and leaves out the “boring shit”.

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Alison Snowball

Interview with Artist Alison Snowball

This is the second in new series of 11 artist interviews I conducted earlier this year I’ve titled “a new space; artists and social media”. You can learn more about this project at http://artistsandsocialmedia.tumblr.com/

http://alisonsnowball.com

Alison Snowball is an artist based in Toronto. I met Snowball in 2010 while we were both conducting gallery space projects in the Parkdale neighbourhood and had recently seen mention of her Chalk Form Census (http://alisonsnowball.com/art/chalk-form-census/) and TWEETHIS: An Art History Paper in 361 Tweets (http://alisonsnowball.com/art/tweethis-an-art-history-paper-in-361-tweets/) on Facebook. This was only one of two interviews in the project conducted in person.

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10,000 hours later…. now what?

I’ve been captivated by the 10,000 rule since hearing about it a few years ago. Simply put, if you put 10,000 hours into something you’ll become an expert on it.

Well, since I’ve been launched Art PR Wire (4,732) and Art Listings Professional (7,245) since 2009, I have posted over 10,000 posts. I’ve been aiming for this metric consciously and now must decide what to do next.

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Love #2, 2012: Painting, interrupted.

I am seeing an orthopedic surgeon later this month about my wonky shoulders. Renovations to our old, crappy house are going very slowly, so as usual my studio is packed with storage. We are living in one room in the main floor. I am also in the thick of an intense but enjoyable graduate program focused on communications, new media and teeming with philosophers both alive and dead. Everyone is smarter and quicker than me. Art is my only hope of surviving this. I always feel like Ethan Hawke in Gattica.

With that being said, my “classical” studio practice is on hold. In the meantime, here is a painting from a unpublished text series in progress. Art Toronto is right around the corner and I am always seeing my art on display by someone else (so to speak) so I figured I better start staking my originality claims while I can.

Love #2

Ai Weiwei and me

Ai Weiwei & me: A study of his perspective

Ai Weiwei and me

Ai Weiwei and me and you at the Whitehouse.

I went to see the Ai Weiwei exhibit at the AGO this weekend and came away with a new perspective and some re-enforced old perspectives.

You may remember I covered the 1001 Chairs artist protest in Toronto a bit when he was detained by Chinese authorities for being right about the Chinese authorities being typical authoritarian dicks.

I’ve become even more aware of his work since – count me in as a fan. However, I was not a fan of how this exhibit was put together by the AGO.

As my friend remarked, it looked like some sort of “sampler pack” and left us slightly … unsatisfied. They seem to have taken a bit of as many different series of his work as they could and crammed it into as few rooms as they could. If any art deserves lots of white cube space, it’s his work. Weiwei often works on an industrial scale and the AGO reduced his art series to a sort of token participation.

42 bicycles in this installation. During Nuite Blanche, there will be 3000.

7 different (truncated) series in this room. Really?

He is one of the giants of our age and will be a central figure of contemporary art history. If the AGO was ever going to clear as much as possible for an artist, then this was it – but they blew it. They did however have $25 dollar tickets for two hours of viewing, so that part of their machinery is well oiled. Oh, and the Ai Weiwei gift shop in the middle of the exhibit took up probably at least 15% of the total space…really?

One cannot help but think if his passport was not currently revoked, then he would of been able to be here to ensure they curated the work better than this. Then I kinda of realized that for me and many a retrospective at the AGO would be the height of professional achievement, but internationally maybe it’s more a provincial gallery.

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My pique aside, I was sincerely moved – almost to tears at one point – by his work to acknowledge child victims of the 2008 earthquake in the Sichuan province. The underlying political and social critique of labour, economy + government ambition that feeds into corruption in the construction industry strikes a cord that transcends borders. Montreal is dealing with a corruption probe and there has long been the stink of such practices where I live as well. And probably across Canada.

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What really moved me was the rebar that he collected from the disaster scene and then painstakingly straightened. Holy fuck. The poetry of this is reverberated in my brain pan and my eyes started to mist up. I’ve seen a lot of art in my time and I’m a bit jaded and desensitized at this point but this cut right through all that. The material, the process and the presentation are inseparable from it’s content and concept – and it’s simple. This guy is the real deal.

Another revelation for me occurred at this point: As an activist and artist, I understand that an incredible and obvious amount of labour is a way to communicate a powerful message a government authority. It becomes undeniable and that at the end of the day is perhaps the most powerful tool available to a contemporary artist in this day and age.

I also understand that the media is the art and my posts of my own work online is powerful and significant and valid. For Ai Weiwei’s, his social media presence acts as a herald for his work and bridges his universal themes into real spaces around the world. Again, his process and presentation is inseparable from his concept and contains an resolvable tension both conceptually and formally i.e. his studies in perspective. For me as an artist, this validates my own concepts and practice.

A few more photos of the exhibit are posted below – that the public is allowed to take photos at this exhibit is a rarity for the Art Gallery of Ontario and I think is due to the influence of the artist. He understands the power of media more then most artists and galleries.

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It may not appear so, but this is an acknowledge of respect for Ai Weiwei.

It may not appear so, but this is an acknowledge of respect for Ai Weiwei.