Thursday, February 28, 2013

The world is bound with secret knots

Hope you enjoyed that red-drenched February holiday spent with loved ones and gifts in paper form... Chinese New Year, duh.

(Still relevant to CNY.) Spotted this in downtown Chicago.
One of my Dreams of a City assistants saw one in Lakeview as well.

Some personal news:

  • Two years ago, I moved into the city of Chicago. What a great decision. Here’s to all the wonderful people I’ve met in this wonderful place.

A roundup of news and tips from the past few weeks (if you’re interested in getting these and more on a daily basis, you can follow Artists on the Lam on Twitter and Facebook!):

Awesome people doing awesome stuff:

  • As a preview of the Art Institute of Chicago’s new Kara Walker: Rise Up Ye Mighty Race! exhibition, I live-tweeted last week’s sold-out Chicago Humanities Festival talk about race and identity, featuring the artist herself. (The last local event I live-tweeted was “Art: How It Moves,” part of Chicago Ideas Week, which you can read about in this post.) She casually threw around questions like “What are the stories we tell to help us understand our being in the world?” She shaded Steven Spielberg. She wore an outfit that I coveted. She called her childhood self a witch. She elicited an audience reaction that tempted me to create the hashtag #WhiteLaughter (but I refrained). Her brilliance here (scroll down a little, past my freaking out about David Bowie and Yeah Yeah Yeahs, but not further than my freaking out about Frank Ocean and Depeche Mode... welcome).

Free stuff:

  • Speaking of the Art Institute, Free Thursday Evenings are back! (I may or may not have already used one such evening to plaster the place with postcards.*) Just in time for the new Picasso and Chicago exhibition.

  • Leonardo Da Vinci’s notebooks have been published online. (I idolized him as a teen because he made me feel less weird about simultaneously being an artist and a scientist-slash-nerd. Slightly less weird.)

Interesting stuff:

  • This is a 3D printing pen that lets you draw sculptures in midair. This was my reaction after watching the video.

*(“Snail mail is dying”? “The post office is going bankrupt”?

And impressions of L.A.:

James Turrell installation at NYE+BROWN, L.A.

You can take a look at photos of my recent L.A. trip on Flickr, on Facebook, and via the slideshow below.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Insert decade-old Phantom Planet lyric here

Starting tomorrow, I’ll be in California to explore L.A.’s art scene and to walk faster than everyone else. Since this will be a relatively brief visit, I’ll do a proper write-up when I’m back in Chicago, as I did after my trip to Miami, but—as with all my art travels—you can follow me on Twitter and Facebook for live updates.

For the time being, check out young Iranian street art duo ICY and SOT, whom I met when they stopped by Chicago last week as part of their art tour across America. (Can more visual artists please do this? Go on the road as rock star art stars? I imagine it’s like Almost Famous, but with less Manic Pixie Dream Girls and more chances of getting arrested.) Thanks to artist Avisheh Mohsenin, who participated in both I CAN DO THAT and Exquisite Corpse, for bringing the brothers to my attention. They’ll return in March for an exhibition at Co-Prosperity Sphere, and I’ll be interviewing them before the opening.

And I will end the post with this: Getting postcards from about a dozen children living on the South Side of Chicago, with dreams that include being “the greatest inventor ever in history and [being] remembered forever,” having her / his “face on a bill,” and living “on an island surrounded by sharks” = grinning like a fool at the post office. Happy Febufriday, everyone.

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