Category Archives: Bloggers

The Art of Pranks

“The Art of Pranks” (Thursday 9:30-Noon)

It was standing room only for this session and the crowd was as excited as I have seen so far at the conference. Beauvais Lyons chaired this panel that featured Sarah Archino, Albert J. Godycki, Hannah Higgins and Simon Anderson, Clark Stoeckley with Andy Bichlbaum as Discussant. Lyons began by showing examples of work that could be labeled as a “prank.”  He started with Marcel Duchamp, an easy choice, right? Lyons included images of various artists, office pranks gone awry and performance artists of the 1960’s and 70’s. He also included an image of Damien Hirst. The image had barely appeared on the screen when boos and hisses emitted from the overflowing crowd. Man, do people hate Hirst.  Almost, if not more, than Jeff Koons. I find it interesting that some would put Hirst in the same category with people that would cover a fellow co-workers office in aluminum foil or post-it notes. But, maybe, that is just me.

Besides the distaste for Hirst, the idea of “Prank Theory” is an intriguing topic I would like to research further. Some of the points discussed were prank in relation to parody, the ethics of deception and the relationship of art and humor. I think further examination of prank theory could work as a discussion topic in one of my seminar classes. It makes for interesting presentations, that is for sure. Higgins and Anderson had participants throughout the crowd stand and yell, interrupting the presentation. Higgins would take time from her talk to fill the water glass of someone in the crowd, while someone wearing a Joseph Beuys mask stood holding and petting a dead hare.

Clark Stoeckley, dressed as a NYPD Lieutenant, provided an overview of graffiti artists ruining cities and performance artists that are disrupting and manipulating the media. A few of the highlights of Stoeckley’s presentation were images of Improv Everywhere’s annual The No Pants Subway Ride in New York City and the work of Steve Lambert. Lambert is my favorite new artist.

There were many more highlights of this session and I look forward to thinking about them in more detail later. But, as I sat on the floor, I just couldn’t help but to wonder if the same Hirst hatred would continue tomorrow during the session “Prophet/Profit: The Famous Case of Damien Hirst.” I guess I know what I will be doing between 9:30 and Noon.

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Here We Go!!

We, my wife and I, flew out of Memphis this morning as the snow and ice were on its way. The schools were already closed for the day and the local Kroger’s and Piggly Wiggly’s were about to run out of milk and bread. (The South doesn’t really do snow and ice very well) But, we made it of there safe. We now sit in the Atlanta airport getting more and more excited about the conference, seeing old friends and meeting new ones. I will post here as often as I can. You can also follow me on twitter – @dwaynebutcher

The sky is clear and the bar is open. I look forward to finally getting to NY.

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Conference Eve!

So here we are on the eve of the 99th CAA conference and the Centennial year kick-off. Looking over the conference schedule one can’t help but feel inadequate knowing there is no possible way to take everything! Though, there is some consolation in the creation of this blog. I feel this will be one of the great features of the whole event, as I and my fellow intrepid bloggers hit the conference we are sure to stumble upon events and conversations that cannot be planned, and then share them with conference goers and those that are living vicariously through the blog.

This being my first CAA conference I am really excited to see firsthand the “nature of the beast.” As a current graduate student this will also allow a glimpse into career paths and opportunities without the stress of being “on the market.” I look forward to learning about everything that CAA has to offer for students and recent graduates that I can take advantage of in the coming years.

Besides blogging, I have been able to participate in the conference through the CAA NY Area MFA Exhibition (shameless plug), and one of the many exhibitions associated with this year’s conference. So please stop by Hunter College/Times Square Gallery Friday evening 6-9p to see artwork area MFA students.

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Getting Excited!

Thank goodness nobody’s about because they’d have to deal with how excited I am about flying out to New York tomorrow for the CAA conference.

It will be my first trip to New York in nearly five years and (shhh, don’t tell anyone) my first experience of a CAA conference.

I’m exhausted just thinking about the schedule but knowing how many interesting people I’m going to meet has got me raring to go. My business cards (pictured) are fresh off the stamp; I’ve tied up all my freelance writing work; abandoned my students to prepare an animated Foucauldian dialogue on a painting of their choice and am champing at the bit for brain-food CAA-styleeee (and maybe the odd cocktail if you’re offering)!

See you all soon…

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watch this space :^)

[Image credit: Jordan Crandall]

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