Archive for the Art Industry Category

Video Value

Posted in Art Industry, Books, Video with tags , , , , , , , on May 10, 2011 by michaelchernoff

My senior BFA Sacred Mediums was recently completed this Saturday and then dismantled this afternoon. Along with the building and development of the show I decided to produce a book and DVD compilation of images, writing, and video work from my show. The DVD was especially important in the package because I had decided not to place any of my final compositions onto the internet. Accordingly I also blocked access to my Master videos on youtube and vimeo making them unviewable because they were on the DVD too. In short I’ve made access to the artwork from show limited and exclusive.

A week before the show I notified any reader that I was removing these videos from the internet and that they should see the videos before they were gone. Some of my contemporaries thought this was a poor decision since I am denying a possible audience on the internet by reducing my work. But why should I show my work for free? Is it because I am afraid it will be stolen? Absolutely not I have no problem with media appropriation. In fact I think it’s ridiculous that music companies have a right to sue people who purchased music and then use it another work. Music is artwork and you should own that artwork as your personal copy and property and it’s yours to do with just like any other consumer item. If someone buys my DVD and decides to rip files from it and appropriate it I have no problem with that as long as I received payment for a copy of the work. And on the other hand putting all your work out does document achievement but it also opens yourself to be overtaken by competitors who can take your ideas and use them for their own gain and leave you dead in the water creatively.

The internet is an easy way to display videos because of its ubiquity and format friendliness that is passive and unforced viewership. But the idea that everything should be seen and given to all as free material isn’t utopian it’s thoughtless. Pirating material I feel will lead to some harsh repercussions in the future because real value is being lost on these items and I don’t mean retail value. If we all received videos or music for free a consumer is happy. But if an video or music item is owned in secret it discredited and made obscure by unknown number of owners. It also hurts artists not only financially but how can we ever truly know if our work is appreciated without forums? On youtube you can see a number of views, likes, and comments but what value can they really give to the video except viral popularity or to be unrecognized. Personally the internet has yet to bestow gold onto me and it’s rare for it to happen to anyone. In the end everyone will want every media file they can get and how can that increase the cultural appreciation of such art?

As for an audience I have none after I leave college so I didn’t see any harm in removing videos because they received the views from an audience that will be gone, the venue has closed. Instead I want to try what Matthew Barney has done with Cremaster and generate value through the demand of viewership not an option of viewing. Barney charges large amounts of capital for his films to be screened but it is due to demands of institutions and galleries who operate has temporal venues for him and then create an audience for his work. My own DVD and book are 12 copies currently made. 4 copies are in the hands of the other people and the others will probably end up in foreign hands one day too. Of course I’m only selling the documents for 35$ not thousand$ of dollars, and I do think the document is worth 50$. I am trying to control the value and destiny of my work like diamonds in a warehouse. But I am doing this to be elitist I am doing this because I am not 20th century fox…I am not a millionaire.

Budget Surplus

Posted in Art Industry with tags , , , , , on December 17, 2010 by michaelchernoff

Although I am ill with a runny nose I came to Harder Hall today to do some last-minute work before leaving for Albany. It occurred to me that on a small break I should look around the studios for any left over or abandoned tools or material. Did I find much? Mostly half a dozen brushes, scrap paper, two tiny tubes of paint, test  prints, failed prints, canvas, and 3 paper paintings. If there is ever a time a person needs discount art supplies you only need to do one thing…find out when schools out at the nearest art college near you. There probably could be a whole industry devoted to saving these misfit items if someone undertook it.  At the end of each semester there must be the equivalent of mountain of assorted junk and it’s still usable. Before the semester began I found free pallet knives and paper in the print shop. Are the students here rich enough they can just buy new stuff every semester or are they just too drunk to remember they left half their studio supplies behind. I’m paying so much to be here at Alfred that it’s a big bonus to receive free material and the delivery fee being my arms carrying stuff through halls and up elevators. I’m not encouraging people to steal…but take the left overs its worth hanging around another week after classes end.

MOMA rates odd beauties

Posted in Art Industry, Photography with tags , , , on November 24, 2010 by michaelchernoff

For an art history paper due next week I’m going to research and write about Marina Abramovic. I’ve been struck lately by her great performances, ideas, and beauty…and beauty is what is coming into play here. Through a google search I found a tumblr page that documented some starers from Abramovic’s performance “The Artist is Present”. What made these visitors to the museum so notable is that they have been rated by the MoMA staff as attractive. Handsome or pretty, men and women. I agree that some of the faces are pleasing to the eye but for some reason the whether it’s the positioning of the head with the camera or the lighting some of the people just look strange.

The jawline and skull and of the pictured man above I found to be the strangest of the men. The photos were shot by a Marco Anelli an Italian who seems to have limited info about himself on the web. The photos themselves do have a powerful aura and compliment the crying shots of starers who broke into tears from Abramovic’s unceasing gaze. But why have a grouping of the pretty? Along with that bizzare complexions. Wide faces, pointy chins, almond shaped eyes, square heads, and cheek bones stand out the most to me.

I can’t tell if this tilting is a sign of vanity and self-definition of beauty in the performance among Anelli or MoMA. Maybe it just has to do with coupling Marina’s prettiness with her opposing companions in the artwork. It just seems strange to treat the event like a runway show for desirable faces instead of the face of some man who literally went everyday to the MoMA for Abramovic’s performance. The museum seems to get weirder to me all the time?

Visiting HOMU

Posted in Art Industry, performance, Politics with tags , , , , , , on November 14, 2010 by michaelchernoff

On my recent visit to New York City I came upon a educational/performance venue titled the The Homeless Museum of Art. I noticed the stand on West 20th St between 10th and 11th ave in Chelsea at noon…I returned at a quarter to 4. It’s is Director Filip Noterdaeme and his Public Relations Official was a stuffed coyote named Feliz. He was nice man but sometimes tongue and cheek with his analysis of me and the Panamanian woman who sat in the other small chair next to me. I enjoyed the his disertation of our lives and visit…it was like a tour guide telling us what we should know and feel for an art object.

The museum was exhibiting minuscule works such as Goya on Goya as tiny card picture of a Francisco Goya Painting submerged in Goya brand Olive Oil in a small jar. Filip and I had a pleasant exchange of our enthusiasm for Goya food and products. Another favoirte was “Eau d’Abramovic”  which is said to be comprised of a block of ice Marina Abramovic who was unknown to until yesterday. The museum showed who the seld described grandmother of performance art is. The bottle of the essence of her performance was titled as Filip Noterdaeme

The purpose of HOMU is a retaliation against the MoMA and institutions like it for high expenditures on facilities and raising prices for the public. The HOMU has been endeavouring against the institution since 2002-present. Despite its gawky street showings and not being near the MoMA I respected that this performance was not a joke and was not lending itself to be pitied or given money…instead self righteous with dark humor. In the website its prescribed a homeless person be given a donation of 5-150 dollars. The museum has gone so far as to also have crashed the opening reception of the new MoMA in 2004.

I went to the MoMA on friday and although I appreciate the collection of work and availability of it I do sense some evilness or self-satisfaction from the institute…even if Guerrilla Girls and O Superman were shown. Professor Kevin Wixted organized a meeting with one of staff of MoMA who also started as intern there so we could gather more info. Maybe I am bitter because I didn’t receive an internship with them last summer or that I realized I don’t want to work for a museum…but I could just sense shit from it when subjects like accepted elitism and corporate model were attached to MoMA. In my mind anything corporate doesn’t have much to do with making art only displaying and selling it. Therefore MoMA shouldn’t;t act like they have a real hand in making anything other than reception. Also certain secrets couldn’t be let out becasue jobs could be endangered. It was like we were meeting the Mafia of Art scene. I wonder if Steve Poleski meant them as well.

I’m a supporter of HOMU and I hope to see their actions on the street again another time I am in town. I’m not sure if the stand is always in the same place but since 2009 its made rounds and has everything a modern art museum should have minus a cafe and bookstore. Winter is coming and the stand may still be there, Filip was cold when I shook his hand to transfer heat.


Art Scenery

Posted in Art Industry, Music, Politics, Projects with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 13, 2010 by michaelchernoff

When I googled Albany NY artwork…one of the 3rd image that came up was the one above. It pretty much sums up what the visual arts environment is in the city as dull. There is practically nothing exciting here even-though NY state is a powerhouse supporter of American and international art efforts. Buffalo and Rochester seem to have more going on there than the state capitol. Even small towns in Massachusetts like the Clarke Institute and Mass MoCA exist there and yet Albany has nothing close to a contemporary art museum. The Art History Museum in Albany has a bunch of early American imitation Romantic sculpture and painting but almost never new art except for regional competitions. A lot of the private galleries in Albany seem stuck on themselves and give exclusive shows but guess what? They are located in Albany so nobody cares that much about their prestige. In the end there is no scene here and if there are people in the city that think there is they had better high tale it somewhere else if they want a career. Troy NY has the actual scene and everyone in Albany doesn’t comprehend that they have real contemporary institutes. They have an Arts Center and but its named the Capitol Region Arts Center…I know where it belongs.

After graduation I have no intentions of looking for work in Albany because there is not a future. There is no fertile support from city government or any grand institution…just Lark Fest. Aside from a few intelligent entrepreneurial artisans the rest are a rabble of makers who can’t get over how unwanted their bad pen drawings and acrylic paintings are. Sometimes I see the same drawings up in galleries and stands for consecutive years. Usually after a years time it’s a sign to stop promoting your failing work and make something better and hide it away for the day you become a superstar and have retrospective show in 20 years. The only gallery I affiliate with is the UAG on Lark Street. They are open and nice people and its fine for a quick show. But I don’t get the sense that anyone is building a major career there even among the names of the makers I appreciate. I don’t where publicity can come from in Albany that is outside its bubble. I haven’t had a major show yet solo or group wise but there seems to be some seriousness missing in the landscape.

There are no public competitions which is sad. Another sign of poor quality thinking in the city is all the unimaginative and juvenile graffiti all over Albany. In Spain they had more great graffiti than the cities could handle. Business owners pay artists to muralise their store fronts so that they don’t get vandalized out of respect. Some sites have been eliminated by Spanish government with so much excess. A little could stand to come over here. Instead of allowing hacks to tag the walls of Albany juried graffiti and mural contests could happen. There is so much available space in Albany. Work would be encouraged and paid for and the city would get a face lift.

Even UAG slackens a little as much as I consider the best open gallery in Albany (there are only 2 in the city I haven’t visited). Last night for a second time I went to the gallery to hear live music from rock and noise bands. On the one hand its positive that the gallery lets these young musicians use the small space as a free venue. And yet…the sound system is terrible, there is no one from the gallery supervising the event, the room itself probably isn’t the best for listening, and there is no advertising. I guess that’s a good deal for a band that isn’t paid for the event. Also you cannot really mosh or dance in an area where you might knock work of the walls and shatter glass frames from Michaels. I did hear some good bands like


LOFI Kabuki

X.N.T. (Jazz Trio: They do a lot of improvising but they sounded better than the last time I heard them perform)

Unfortunately I would not encourage bands to play at the gallery. There is not much profit unless you can really attract a crowd through a posse. In the end the creative world of Albany is a bad joke. Maybe if build a new arts museum, a public school that excels in visual arts instead of theater and music, have a real gallery district with regular hours, and city art competitions; then there could be a start for something better than half-assed attempts of pretending their a cosmopolitan air in the city of Albany.