Blog posts tagged "ma"

Boston Holiday Art Sales

November 30th, 2005

Fort Point Holiday Sale: Friday, December 9, 11am-7pm, Saturday, December 10, 11am-5pm

Museum School 25th Annual December Sale: Thursday, December 1, 12-8 pm (Opening Celebration: 5-8 pm), Friday, December 2 – Monday, December 5, 12-6 pm

MassArt’s Annual Holiday Sale: December 5th – 10th; 10am – 7 pm

In other news, it really should be easier to add events to Upcoming, and Markdown needs support for microformats

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Massachusetts starts open source repository

March 20th, 2004

Massachusetts CIO Peter Quinn, as part of his stated goal to move all state and local IT systems to open source, has launched an open source code respository for the public sector to do shared development and best practices. The site has an impressive pedigree (via)

The repository will consist of a MySQL database, Z Object Publishing Environment application server, Apache Web server, OpenLDAP authentication service for storing membership data, and Debian Linux operating system running on an Intel-based rack-mounted server. The University of Rhode Island will serve as the repository’s home.

Quinn has come under attack for his support of open source, most notably from a group called Citizens Against Government Waste, a pro-Microsoft lobbying group (who can afford to use Convio).

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A Day at MassMOCA

August 19th, 2002

Jasmine and I ditched Boston and its cement melting temperatures for a weekend back in Western Mass., where we both went to school. And we finally cashed in that rain-check to go MassMOCA, the current show, Contemporary Viennese artists, didn’t really excite us, but we’ve been saying we would go for nearly 3 years now.

A long road ahead

First thing you should know about visiting MassMOCA is it is far away. I mean everyone says its far, but its just hard to believe how far. I grew up in California where we have counties larger then Massachusetts, and the only explanation I can think of to justify how far out there North Adam is and still be in Massachusetts is that it exists on some other plane. So when you call the museum and they say take 91N to Greenfield, get on Rt. 2W and you’re almost there. They are lying!

Heading out Rt. 2 we nearly turned back in despair several times, only sustained by the how beautiful and green that part of Mass can be. Even after finally seeing the “Entering North Adams” sign, we hadn’t arrived, it was merely a lure to reel in the reluctant. We would pass through 2 more towns, and cross a small mountain range, before we descended (beautiful view) into the Hoosac river valley, and the old industrial town of N. Adams.

Doubts

I’ve been told with MassMOCA the show is everything, the curating can soar to heights of brilliance, but apparently maintaining the altitude proves tricky. So I was a little worried. My worries felt confirmed when we walked into the show and were confronted with sophomoric video art that expressed the artists desire to “break free of the conservative and oppressive Viennese art regime”, and a painter of abstracts that cheerfully embraced the appellation, “decorative”. However there were some hilights.

Franz West

MassMOCA is in the back of beyond so that they can have a really huge space cobbled together out of those great abandoned New England factory buildings. I vacillate between: fanatsizing about remodelling them into amazing live/work spaces with steampunk enfused aesthetics, and the dread certainty of a Californian that one day the Big One will hit, and I would be buried by a city block worth of red bricks. Either way, the Franz West exhibit blossomed in the enormous space.

Walking into the exhibit room a cheerful note proclaims, “All Chairs May Be Sat In.” A 30ft tall sculpture of a Pepto Bismol pink intestine, “Drama (Model)” quickly draws the eye. As does the 90ft long white table, “Kantine”“, that attempts to play with Kant’s 2 ideals of pleasure. We’re told at the MAK this was a performance piece, where you ate heavy German peasant food while staring at the high art intestine so that the lump in your stomach and your growing panic of not understanding why Austria’s most influential artist has sculpted a giant intestine come to symbolize Kant’s interested and disinterested pleasures. I don’t personally remember Swedish meatballs coming up in our discussions of the Enlightenment but it was an intriguing piece.

Erwin Wurm

It was this piece that prompted Jazz’s insight, “They are going for Disneyland. Art that is fun for the whole family.” Which is not to say we didn’t like it, a lot, but one worried if the curator had sacraficed critique in bringing it to you. Still, Wurm’s center piece was worth seengi

A self portrait of the artist in a hot pink button up and tight black pants, shot from a decidedly unflattering angle, looks down upon a car which sags with heavy curves of flesh. The hood is chubby; the bumper and skirt, and mirrors droop with cellulite; the door handle, and key hole are deep dimples. The whole car is the unreal pink of a “Flesh” crayon, and fat. Unlike West’s more conceptual intestine, endless hours have clearly been put into to making the hard plastic shell of this car look like you would squish into its fleshy expanses if pushed up against it. I feel as if we are supposed to be repulsed by its obesity, but to someone like myself who has never embraced the sleek metallic aesthetic of modern cars it is also sexy.

As we stand in awe, staring at this contrivance, we are excitedly informed by a fellow museum goer that underneath all that pink excessive is “a Ford Escort! Can you believe that? A Ford Escort!”. I feel deeply alienated from my fellow citizens.

(Update: Actually the photo behind the car is not the artist, a man, but the curator. Suddenly my whole understanding of the piece bucks, and swims before my eyes, as I reconsider how I feel about it…)

Lois Weinberger

Probably my favorite artist from the show, and probably the understated. His little alcove revolved around a collection of plastic bags, filled with dirt and plants under a grow light, “Portable Garden”. The plants were weeds transplanted from the grounds of MassMOCA, the bags I recognized from Tijuana, but apparently they are also popular among the Vienna’s poor immigrants from Eastern Europe, and Africa. Hard to capture in words, you could sense Weinberger’s deep sympathy with these scrappy, unwelcome transplants. A message that blended environmentalisms, and social justice.

Against one wall was a large piece of newsprint in which a sprawling fictitious city plan has been depicted, “Course/Drift”. The city has grown smack up against its encircling mountains, represented with topo lines, and is now trying to figure out how to go on growing. The cityscape is labeled, not with traditional names like Main St., or 6th Ave., but with a powerful and loaded vocabulary. (on which I did not take notes, unfortunately) A plaza might be named happiness, taxes, lost, or ball game. A concourse I remember was named “Upper Class Concert”, a little neighborhood block named “Revolution”. It conjured up one of Calvino’s invisible cities, and I stood and stared for a long time.

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