Intellectual Jousting in the Republic of Letters

Masha Tupitsyn - Love Sounds


Saw Akram Zaatari’s amazing video piece ENDNOTE at The New Museum’s exhibit HERE AND ELSEWHERE today. I love the moment when you see incredible, intelligent, careful, stand out work. It’s rare. ENDNOTE is, in my opinion, the best piece in the show. Though there are other strong pieces throughout. But this is that kind of laconic/quiet work I love, where nothing happens, things are not being shown, but everything is there. I felt the same way when I saw Alfredo Jaar’s work in the mayhem of Documenta back in 2002. Jaar’s three wall texts about the ethics of representation and the corporate ownership of images were crystal clear and singular. Zataari’s video piece reminds me of other great absence-inversion works, the kind that focus on how we experience and situate a medium, situate ourselves inside and outside a medium. Films like Abbas Kiarostami’s (underrated) SHIRIN or Derek Jarman’s BLUE. Medium as a/the way, or as the theorist and multimedia artist, Trinh T. Minha puts it, the digital artwork is characterized not by the technology which delivers it, but by the “passage” itself. In Minha’s book, D-PASSAGE: The Digital Way, she considers new technology less as a medium but more as a “way.” Also, Zaatari’s video is a masterful rendition of the critical spectator versus what Mulvey calls the possessive, fetishistic spectator. It’s not what they are seeing/watching on that laptop, but how they are watching it.

It made my day/my week to see this work.




The dog exploded and I was like, ok. Then my wife exploded, and I was like, sex-deuced by Sea Queens.

A light tree floating in a remembered watering can carried by a dung beetle. Elephants rising up through those grey-grey waves might just be ordinary elephants. Or, why not, a circus…

The Temptation of Scotland

The Temptation of Scotland