Artforum International

An international contemporary art magazine covering sculpture, painting, mixed media, and installation works, as well as architecture, music, and popular culture. Includes artist interviews and reviews of individual artists and/or galleries; reviews of fi

Articles from Vol. 51, No. 1, September

AI Weiwei
WARHOL COULD NEVER have predicted that we'd get to this point. I'm on Twitter, and so are you, and so is the president of the United States. Twitter has changed the configuration of culture, as have the Internet and social networking more generally,...
Apocalypse Now: David Rimanelli on Jean Baudrillard's "What Are You Doing after the Orgy?" 1983
The fascination of the pictures is the fascination of being seduced by a dead object, it is the magic of disappearance, and this particular magic can be found just as easily in pornographic images as in Modern art, where the prevailing obsession...
Artificial Paradises: Robert Pincus-Witten on Photography and Criticism
WE ARTFORUM CRITICS of the Philip Leider generation are now in our seventies, pushing eighty; a retrospective contribution to a future sixtieth-anniversary issue amounts to actuarial improbability. Even those of us who quarreled and ultimately broke...
Art's New Media
THE MESSAGE WAS BRIEF. Typed as if for telex, a 1967 memo from this magazine's editor, Philip Leider, responded to a writer's pitch with characteristically lapidary concision: "I can't imagine Artforum ever doing a special issue on electronics or computers...
Barbara Kruger
I STARTED OUT IN THE LATE 1960s as a magazine designer for Conde Nast, where I had the luxury of working with the best technology at the time. In laying out editorial content, I became attached to sans serif type especially Futura and Helvetica, which...
Bernard Tschumi
With its undulating sculptural form--which can be interpreted as evoking a string of pearls--this building will be one of the city's most poetic structures. It will also be an example of cutting-edge sustainable design. Its translucent skin will feature...
Broadcast Muse: Rhonda Lieberman on Barbara Kruger's "Remote Control" (1985-90)
BARBARA KRUGER is an excellent close reader of the idiot box--formally, aesthetically, and politically. From 1985 to 1990, she wrote a column on television for Artforum called "Remote Control." I must admit I clipped back into these texts with trepidation....
Cindy Sherman
I decided to work with photography because, for me, it was the fastest means to an end. I wanted to concentrate my energy on ideas and be able to see the results quickly. I began as a naive realist painter, copying from photographs or magazines...
Cities of Tomorrow: Anthony Vidler on Technology, Ecology, and Architecture
A generation ago, it was "The Machine" that let architects down--tomorrow or the day after it will he "The Computer," or Cybernetics or Topology. --Reyner Banham, "Stocktaking 1960" [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] [ILLUSTRATION...
Continental Drift: David Frankel on Greil Marcus's "The Cowboy Philosopher" 1986
I GREW UP IN THE BRITISH ISLES, and my ninth birthday fell a couple of weeks after the English release of "Please Please Me," the Beatles' second single and first big hit, in January 1963, so I make no apologies for saying: For my generation, rock...
Critical Condition: Hal Foster on Criticism Then and Now
HOW CAN WE ACCOUNT for the sheer intensity of the criticism published in Artforum in its first heyday, from the mid-1960s to the early '70s? That era of the magazine saw Michael Fried prosecuting Minimalism in his brief against "objecthood" (Summer...
Dan Graham
IN MY EARLIEST conceptually oriented work, I used the magazine page as my medium. An exemplary, and perhaps the most absolute and complex, proto-conceptual magazine page that I made is Schema (March 1966). It is completely self-referential. Instead...
Data Almanac: Anne M. Wagner on "Software" (1970)
HARDWARE, SOFTWARE: Do these terms still summon entities and concepts that can be evoked in art? Can they still be represented, in other words? And perhaps more to the point, does this figurative possibility seem useful, now that soft and hard technologies...
Dave McKenzie
A STUDENT in my performance class at Northwestern University recently gave a short presentation on Bruce Nauman's work. His investigations brought him into contact with Alison Chernick's video James Franco as Bruce Nauman, 2010, in which Franco performs,...
Digital Divide: Claire Bishop on Contemporary Art and New Media
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO DIGITAL ART? Cast your mind back to the late 1990s, when we got our first e-mail accounts. Wasn't there a pervasive sense that visual art was going to get digital, too, harnessing the new technologies that were just beginning to...
Direct Cinema: J. Hoberman on Stan Brakhage's Mothlight (1963)
NOT THE CAMERA BUT THE PROJECTOR; not a representation but the thing itself, a ribbon of once-living stuff preserved in celluloid coursing along, flashing before our eyes: It was neither Muybridge's 1879 motion studies nor the Lumiere brothers' 1895...
Endless Summer: Thomas Crow on Philip Leider's "How I Spent My Summer Vacation" 1970
A SNAPSHOT taken of Art forum in 1965 would have yielded a split and contradictory image. In the recollection of New Yorker Mel Bochner, the upstart Los Angeles publication had undergone a palpable shift in tone over its short period of existence:...
File Sharing: Scott Rothkopf on Kelley Walker's Untitled, (2006)
OVER THE PAST DOZEN OR SO YEARS, the artists who made the most of new technologies were often those who least knew how to use them. I count Kelley Walker among this group. Around the turn of the millennium, he, like many of us with a Mac, a scanner,...
Frame by Frame: Rosalind E. Krauss on Tacita Dean's Film, (2011)
IN A SHORT VIDEO made to accompany FILM, her 2011 piece for the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern in London, Tacita Dean begins by describing the making of The Green Ray, 2001. The title alludes to the last flash of light from the setting sun--which is "just...
Fugitive Presence: Jeffrey Weiss on Dan Flavin's "'... in Daylight or Cool White'" (1965)
A SOLITARY LAMP mounted on an aging, flaking studio wait: Shown this way, in an unprepossessing photograph, the diagonal of May 25, 1963 is both lowly and beatific. Accordingly, for the layout of Dan Flavin's "'... in daylight or cool white.' an autobio-graphical...
Ghost Story: Eric C.H. De Bruyn on Kinetic Art and New Media
FROM ITS START, kinetic art has been possessed by--the uncanny Surrealist automaton as much as by the technological promise of a utopian future. And, in turn, it has haunted modern sculpture, which had long been vexed by Marx's famous description of...
Gray Scale: Michael Fried on Michael Schmidt's 89/90 (2010)
A LARGE RETROSPECTIVE of the German photographer Michael Schmidt, curated by Thomas Weski, was held at the Haus der Kunst in Munich during the late spring and summer of 2010. I flew to Munich from Berlin expressly to visit it and am glad I did (in...
Hans Breder
IN OCTOBER 1967, five years after Artforum published its first issue, I sat next to Marcel Duchamp (quite by accident) while Jean Tinguely presented his Rotozaza No. 2 as part of the Second World Congress on Communication in a Changing World at NYU....
Harun Farocki
FOR OVER ONE HUNDRED YEARS, photography and film were the leading kind of image. From the start they served not only as forms of information and entertainment but also as media for scientific research and documentation. That's one reason these techniques...
Hell Is for Children: Ed Halter on Leslie Thornton's Peggy and Fred in Hell, 1984
TWO AMERICAN CHILDREN, a girl and a boy, play inside a house crammed with the technological clutter of the twentieth century. Tangles of electric cable form a synthetic underbrush, while cathode-ray monitors perch here and there, transmitting nature...
Indirect Answers: Douglas Crimp on Louise Lawler's Why Pictures Now, 1981
IN 1981, Louise Lawler took a photograph of a matchbook propped in a common restaurant ashtray--a photograph that appears to ask the question printed on the matchbook's cover: WHY PICTURES NOW. Nearly twenty years later, the photograph appeared as...
Industrial Complex: Max Kozloff on "The Multimillion Dollar Art Boondoggle" (1971)
WOE TO THE CRITIC who lets fly with absolutes! I occasionally did that, decades ago, alarmed that some then-current artistic tendencies might lead to repellent outcomes. A specialist in worry, I was capable of turning lamentation into kvetching, vitriol,...
Kara Walker
I CARRY AROUND WITH ME a thread of anxiety, a gnawing sense that the perception of black women in our culture is still broadly informed by a limiting and racist stereotype: that we are feeling machines--passionate, loud, and hulking. What the culture...
Keith Sonnier
THE SCULPTURAL BASE HAD TO GO. I chose to work, and move, within a fourth dimension by placing two six-foot-square mirrors face to face (Mirror Act, 1969), creating what I refer to as an "infinity channel" to work within. First the manipulation of...
Machine Learning: Geoffrey Winthrop-Young and Eva Horn on Friedrich Kittler (1943-2011)
THE GERMAN MEDIA THEORIST FRIEDRICH KITTLER, who passed away last October at the age of sixty-eight, was perhaps the most incisive contemporary exegete of our relationship with machines. Artforum asked Geoffrey Winthrop-Young, author of Kittler and...
Mad as Hell: Eric Banks on Lawrence Alloway's "Netword: The Art World Described as a System" (1972)
IN SEPTEMBER 1972, in what would become a decennial ritual, Artforum published an issue marking a significant birthday for the magazine, in this case its tenth anniversary. The cover selected for the issue was a simple black-and-white photo taken in...
Media Specificities
THOUGH IT MAY LOOK LIKE an abstract play of shadows, the image on the cover of Artforum's 1962 debut issue is, in fact, a kinetic sculpture--a jittery, vaguely anthropomorphic contraption of springs and spare parts--by the Swiss artist-provocateur...
Mel Bochner
IN 1968, THROUGH E.A.T. (Experiments in Art and Technology), I was very fortunate to get the opportunity to work at the Singer Corporation's research and development lab out in New Jersey. Someone thought it would be interesting to have an artist work...
Modernism without Organs: Branden W. Joseph on Antonin Artaud
SINCE THE PUBLICATION of Peter Baurger's Theory of the Avant-Garde, importantly inflected by Benjamin H. D. Buchloh and Hal Foster, we have understood postwar art as conditioned by the progressive recovery of the legacies of avant-garde artists: Duchamp,...
Morton Subotnick
IN THE LATE 1950s, I was living in San Francisco and struggling to find my identity as a young composer while playing clarinet part-time with the SF Symphony and SF Opera to make a living. I was commissioned to write a score for the Actor's Workshop...
Motion Capture: David Velasco on Annette Michelson's "The Dancer and the Dance" and "Lives of Performers" 1974
BEFORE SHE BECAME the doyenne of film theory, Annette Michelson was also a champion of what some anachronistically called the New Dance. In her first feature article in Artforum, on Andre Breton, in the September 1966 issue devoted to Surrealism, there...
Next-Level Spleen
FOR MOST ARTISTS TODAY, the laptop and phone have already supplanted the studio as primary sites of production. Early signs of this shift were evident in what became known as relational aesthetics, which, in retrospect, seems wrongly defined as a practice...
Northern Light: Molly Nesbit on Philippe Parreno's Speaking to the Penguins, 2007
WHEN ARTFORUM WAS BEING BORN some fifty years ago, it was not uncommon for artists themselves to write. "Before he became a painter," Lucy Lippard explained in 1970, "[Lawrence] Weiner was a poet. He no longer writes, but his book, Statements, published...
On All Channels: Diedrich Diederichsen on Media, Technology, and the Culture Industry
IT WAS A BRILLIANTLY SUNNY afternoon as I walked onto the Tempelhofer Feld in Berlin. In the 1920s, this massive field in the south of the city hosted Germany's first commercial airport, but it had been used since the eighteenth century as a military...
Open Book: Michelle Kuo Talks with Ingrid Sischy
MICHELLE KUO: Under your tenure [1980-88], Artforum distinctly moved beyond the visual arts, to culture more broadly--not only to different media but to mass media. INGRID SISCHY: Much of that impetus came from what artists themselves were looking...
Our Prehistoric Future: David Bordwell on Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park (1993)
IT'S NOT EVERY DAY that the world's most famous paleontologist sits in judgment on technologies of visual representation. But when Stephen Jay Gould saw Jurassic Park, his concerns about stereotypical characterizations and the scientific infeasibility...
Page History: IDA Panicelli on Editing Artforum 1988-92
AS I THINK ABOUT the images and words circulating during my years as editor of Artforum, certain moments come to mind. There was my baptism by fire, the experience of serving as a witness in Carl Andre's trial a few months after I arrived in New York....
Paris Photo 2012
EXHIBITORS ALAIN GUTHARC Paris ANALIX FOREVER Geneva ANDREA MEISLIN New York ANNE BARRAULT Paris ASYMETRIA Warsaw BAUDOIN LEBON Paris BERNARD BOUCHE Paris BERNHEIMER Munich BFRTRAND GRIMONT Paris BO BJERCGAARD Copenhagen...
Receiving End: Tim Griffin on Art and Artificial Life
CLASSIC WITHIN THE GENRE of science fiction is the figure of the replicant, or android--a wholly synthetic being who is nevertheless, for all immediate intents and purposes, distinctly human, possessing the capacity for emotion and memory, and even...
Reworked: Lynne Cooke on Rosemarie Trockel's Untitled, 1988
FACED WITH THE CHALLENGE of creating a "cosmos" that would embody her imaginary, Rosemarie Trockel recently assembled a shape-shifting corpus that encompasses virtually every art form now current--painting, sculpture, object making, video and drawings,...
Richard Serra
1969 TECHNOLOGY IS a form of tool making (body extensions). Technology is not art--not invention. It is a simultaneous hope and hoax. It does not concern itself with the undefined, the inexplicable: It deals with the affirmation of its own making....
Robert Irwin
THE WHOLE "ART AND TECHNOLOGY" program was a red herring. But it was actually very successful for me, because I took a different tack. At that time, around 1968, when the Los Angeles County Museum of Art was organizing this project and exhibition,...
Robert Whitman
I'VE ALWAYS FELT that rather than learn how to, say. program a computer, it's better to find a programmer and say, "Can you do this?" And sometimes if you find the right person, the answer is, "You know, we could do that"--something you might not have...
Ryan Trecartin
PRODUCTION MAY REALLY just be a creative way to thoughtfully consume. Inserting novel code into culture--code that can expand our ideas of what can be consumed. Even without this intention or focus, consumption can generate a gain in metaphysical weight....
Stan Douglas
GIVEN NEW TECHNOLOGY, the user often trades convenience for control. Take the cell phone camera. Because cell phone camera designers are knowledgeable about what a conventionally "good" photograph looks like, everyone now takes "good" photographs,...
Stephen Antonakos
TOWARD THE END OF THE 1960s, I was very interested in making large neon works that defined or redefined space. In 1968 I made Red Neon from Wall to Wall, a two-foot-high by two-foot-deep bar of red neon that horizontally spanned the Fischbach Gallery's...
Stephen Willats: Talks with Cory Arcangel
CORY ARCANGEL: Can you press the video button so we can see you? STEPHEN WILLATS: OK. Can you see me? CA: No, I--yes. There you are. Oh, there is your studio. Oh, wonderful. There is your other computer. And tons of lamps. SW: Yeah. You see,...
Step into Liquid: Michelle Kuo Talks with Wolfgang Tillmans about the Ascendancy of Ink-Jet Printing
MICHELLE KUO: I was struck by your reaction to the David Hock Hockney exhibition in London this past spring ["A Bigger Picture," Royal Academy of Arts]. Beyond any sheer aesthetic pleasure, you seemed especially taken by the show's structure, in which...
Strange Trip: John Rajchman on Vilem Flusser's "Curies' Children" (1986-92)
WHAT IS--and has been--the relation of artists and philosophers to media, media theory, and media studies? The column that Vilem Flusser (1920-1991) contributed to Artforum from 1986 through 1992, titled "Curies' Children," offers something of a case...
Subliminal Messages: Daniel Birnbaum on Jean-Francois Lyotard's "The Sublime and the Avant-Garde" 1984
AT THE VERY PEAK OF HIS FAME in the mid-1980s, Jean-Francois Lyotard, one of Europe's most prominent thinkers, staged an art-world intervention. He did so with essentially a few dense texts and one major exhibition. The essay "The Sublime and the Avant-Garde"...
System Symptoms: Caroline A. Jones on Jack Burnham's "Systems Esthetics" (1968)
A BRIEF METEOR, Jack Burnham blazed forth in September 1968 declaring "Systems Esthetics" to be the preeminent mode of contemporary artmaking. How could this sculpture teacher from the Midwest have gotten it so right? In the ensuing decades, what Burnham...
Thomas Demand
PHOTOGRAPHY IS A MODEL of a mutual understanding: We all grasp how it works and what it takes to make an image that the viewer can identify as "photographic." In this relation between photograph and viewer, the technical side doesn't have much relevance...
Tony Conrad
I'M BEING TRUE HERE, even if I'm often drawn to being false about my own past. Technology engenders an illusion that you can be in the right place at the right time, no matter where you really are. Sure, I can live in Buffalo and still play the...
Transformer: David Joselit on Gregory Battcock
IN APRIL 1970, Gregory Battcock appeared in his underwear on the cover of Arts Magazine, the publication he would briefly lead as editor some three years later. Like "Andy Warhol's Travel Piece," the three-page spread it announces, the cover's design,...
Wade Guyton
IN MY WORK, I use a number of machines and programs: ink-jet printers, scanners, Photoshop, Microsoft Word, even Safari. But I don't think my work is really about embracing the potential of the technology or "the digital." In fact, I'm probably underutilizing...
What Was I Thinking? Jack Bankowsky on Scene & Herd
WHAT WOULD IT BE LIKE to run a magazine within a magazine, a forum inside Artforum, and one whose purview, rather than art itself, would be "the art world," the 24-7 social whirl the parent publication's very identity depends on holding at arm's length?...
Zoom and Bust: Amy Taubin on David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis (2012)
Technology doesn't expose its true meaning until it has been incorporated into the human body. --David Cronenberg [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] BY THE TIME YOU READ THIS, David Cronenberg's narcotized, hallucinatory, minimally...
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