Chip Lord

Article excerpt

Chip Lord was cofounder, with Doug Michels, of Ant Farm, the subject of a major retrospective organized in 2004 by the Berkeley Art Museum and of upcoming exhibitions at the Fonds Regional d'Art Contemporain Centre in Orleans, France, and the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture in New York. A survey of Lord's single-channel video works was held at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid in March 2005. He is a professor in the film and digital media department at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

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1 LIVING WITH WAR (2006) Neil Young's protest album is a heartfelt, humanist howl grounded in three-chord rock, but it goes deeper than the music. The special-edition CD includes a DVD with ten music videos that sample news footage and Bush sound bites, plus a documentary for each song. Young rolled out the album's most biting track, "Let's Impeach the President," on tour last summer to mixed reviews, which are posted on his website along with music, videos, and links to more than a thousand other protest songs.

2 VICTORY GARDENS 2007 + In the recent SECA Art Award show at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Amy Franceschini displayed clever combines of gardening tools (the "shovelpogo," the "bikebarrow"). Also on view were graphically striking posters, seed packets, and maps for the real action--planting parties the artist organizes to grow backyard "victory gardens," a la World War II, but for the age of global warming and Slow Food.

3 CAROLYN BURKE, LEE MILLER: A LIFE (KNOPF, 2005) What makes Lee Miller's story fascinating is her peripatetic (and sexual) drive--a Vogue cover model in 1927 at age twenty, she went to Paris two years later, where she announced herself to Dadaist Man Ray as his student (but quickly became his muse and lover); she returned to New York to set up her own photo studio (1932), impulsively married Aziz Eloui Bey and moved to Cairo (1934), and "vacationed" in Paris with the Surrealists (1937). Serving as a war correspondent/photographer for British Vogue, Miller covered the liberation of Paris, the march into Germany, and the liberation of the death camp at Dachau. She even dropped by Hitler's Munich home, where David E. Scherman photographed her in der Fuhrer's tub.

4 GORDON MATTA-CLARK, FRESHKILL, 1972 This Super 8 film, currently on view in the artist's retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, has a great sense of mise-en-scene. The protagonist is a GMC Panel truck--a precursor of today's ubiquitous SUVs--whose tragic end involves a truly startling moment of impact. The sly title is both literal (Fresh Kills being the Staten Island landfill where the film was shot) and figurative. In 2007, Freshkill is still fresh!

5 ARRIVALS & DEPARTURES: THE AIRPORT PICTURES OF GARRY WINOGRAND (CHARLES RIVERS PUBLISHING CO., 2004) I've been shooting, er ... I mean, photographing in airports for the past few years, and Garry Winogrand's 1960s and '70s airport shots provide inspiration, showing the photographer's great eye for the details of human behavior. …