Sunday, September 29, 2019

David Troostwyk | Advertisement Of An Idea

David Troostwyk
Advertisement Of An Idea 
London, UK: Audio Arts, 1976
audio cassette
Edition size unknown

On Sunday February 8th 1976,  David Troostwyk bought air time on a London commercial radio station, Capitol Radio Ltd, to advertise an idea. Before becoming an artist he had worked in advertising from 1944 to 1947, with the London Display Company. 

This Audio Arts Magazine cassette contains a condensed recording of the original three hour transmission during which nine identical 15 second commercials advertised the text of the idea. 

Troostwyk died of lung cancer on this day ten years ago, at the age of 80.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Miranda July | Kissing Pillowcases

Miranda July
Kissing Pillowcases
Fitzroy, Australia: Third Drawer Down,
48 x 71 cm.
Edition size unknown

100% Cotton Pillowcases, packaged with a postcard. The embroidered text reads: “Here you will dream of endless kissing” and “Here you will dream of people you admire exposing your fraudulence”.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Cattelan's Toilet Stolen

An 18-karat gold toilet by Maurizio Cattelan was stolen from the Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, England, this weekend. Titled America, the work was part of “Victory Is Not an Option,” the first UK solo exhibition by Cattelan in more than twenty years. The piece has an estimated worth about five million dollars.

The New York Times reported that the police said that the working toilet was taken early Saturday and that the thieves caused “significant damage and flooding” to the building, a heritage site and the birthplace of Winston Churchill.

"America was the 1 percent for the 99 percent, and I hope it still is," the artist told the newspaper, "I want to be positive and think the robbery is a kind of Robin Hood-inspired action." The notion that it might be a prank would fit in well with the artist's larger practice.

The toilet gained infamy last year when Nancy Spector, the chief curator of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, offered it to the US President and First Lady, Donald and Melania Trump, in lieu of a van Gogh painting that they had asked to borrow.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Bob and Roberta Smith | Pointless

Bob and Roberta Smith
London, UK: Imprint 93, 1994
[18] pp., 22 cm., staple-bound
Edition size unknown

A photocopied artist's book consisting of connect-the-dots illustrations and accompanying misspelled texts. Includes a pencil rubber-stamped with the title.

Published by Matthew Higgs' under the auspices of his Imprint 93, which ran for 6 years and produced works by Billy Childish, Martin Creed, Jeremy Deller, Peter Doig, Ceal Floyer, Elizabeth Peyton, Chris Ofili, Jessica Voorsanger, Stephen Willats and others.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Micah Lexier | Two Puzzles: the image of one puzzle printed on another and vice versa

Micah Lexier
Two Puzzles: the image of one puzzle printed on another and vice versa
Toronto, Canada: Paul + Wendy Projects, 2019
4 x 5 1/2"
Editi0n of 100

The 49th Paul + Wendy Projects project (and the 7th by Micah Lexier, including collaborations with Jonathan Monk and Michael Dumontier) consists of two foil-stamped puzzles, on containing nine pieces and the other sixteen. Each is printed with the other's image. The work is housed in a foil stamped, gusseted envelope with button and string closure.

The work is available from the publisher, here, for $40 CDN.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Watching Night of the Living Dead

My film Watching Night of the Living Dead opens tonight (coincidentally a full moon and Friday the 13th) in Winnipeg at Platform, and continues until October 25th. Press release below. 

"PLATFORM centre , in collaboration with WNDX, is pleased to announce a solo exhibition featuring the work of Dave Dyment (ON). Titled Watching Night of the Living Dead, the show runs from 13 September – 25 October, 2019 with an opening reception scheduled for Friday 04 October at 7 PM. Dyment will give an artist talk at 6 PM before the opening. Both events are free and open to the public.

EXHIBITION | 13 September – 25 October 2019
OPENING RECEPTION | Friday 04 October, 7:00 PM
ARTIST TALK | Friday 04 October, 6:00 PM
SCREENING | Friday 25 October, 9 PM at the Cinematheque

Watching Night of the Living Dead reanimates the 1968 George Romero classic entirely using footage of characters from other films and television series watching the movie on TV or at the cinema. Originally titled Night of the Flesh Eaters, the producers re-branded it as Night of the Living Dead, at the last minute, to avoid confusion with a similarly titled horror film. The title card was hastily replaced and the copyright symbol was accidentally omitted. This minor clerical error caused the film to immediately fall into public domain, thus denying Romero any royalties from what may be the most lucrative low-budget independent feature ever made, but also ensuring his legacy.

Night of the Living Dead is ground-zero for the contemporary zombie, the last new mythology to be publicly owned. Countless comic books, novels, television series and feature films have used variations on Romero’s walking dead monsters. In addition to the myriad unauthorized sequels and reproductions, the film’s public domain status allows other filmmakers to include clips in their own projects, eliminating the costs and administrative headaches of securing permission to use copyrighted materials.

Watching Night of the Living Dead collects these scenes and arranges them sequentially along a bed track of the original. The characters watching television will sometimes serve as surrogate zombies, staring blankly at the horror unfolding on their sets, but also mirror the protagonists in the original, where most of the plot exposition is delivered via a television news reader.


Dave Dyment is a Toronto-based artist whose practice includes audio, video, photography, performance, writing and curating, and the production of artists’ books and multiples. His work – often labour-intensive and requiring years to complete – is primarily interested in the ways that cultural value is accrued. He mines pop culture for shared associations and alternate meanings, investigating the language and grammar of music, cinema, television and literature, in order to arrive at a kind a folk taxonomy of a shared popular vocabulary.

Dyment’s work has exhibited across the country, as well as New York City, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, London, and Dublin, and sits in many private and corporate collections, and in the libraries of the AGO and National Gallery of Canada. Examples of his work can be seen at or heard on the YYZ Anthology Aural Cultures or the Art Metropole disk New Life After Fire, a collaboration with Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth. He is represented by MKG127."

For more information, or to purchase the Blu-Ray, visit Platform's website, here

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Daniel Johnston

I first learned about Daniel Johnston from my high school English teacher, Gord Way, who furnished me with dubbed cassettes of his work. These included songs from the early releases, recorded in Johnston's parents' basement, and cover versions from his former girlfriend Kathy McCarty's tribute album, Dead Dog's Eyeball. They were unlike anything I had ever heard before. 

In 2003, we went to see him perform at the Phoenix. I brought along the above Yip/Jump Music cassette in case we happened to bump into him. He performed a short solo set, as the opening act on the bill. After the headliners Yo La Tengo performed, I saw him waiting alone, by the side of the stage. I suggested that my partner go talk to him, tell him that we enjoyed his performance and ask him to sign the cassette. 

When she returned she explained that after their brief conversation a guy from the merch table had called Johnston away to help with T-shirts or something. He argued that he was supposed to stay where he was, but the guy persisted and a flustered Johnston eventually acquiesced. 

Then Yo La Tengo took the stage for their encore, and announced that they were going to perform a song with Daniel. But they couldn't find him. I recall them asking if the house lights could be turned on, so they could look for him. "Has anybody seen Daniel?" they called from the stage. "Daniel?"

In what seemed like ages but was probably only a matter of minutes, everyone in the club waited for him to appear. When he did, it was to a triumphant applause. He led the band in a spirited rendition of his song "Speeding Motorcycle". 

Yesterday, his family released the following statement: 

"The Johnston family is deeply saddened to announce the death of their brother, Daniel Johnston. He passed away from natural causes this morning at his home outside of Houston, Texas. Daniel was a singer, songwriter, an artist, and a friend to all. Although he struggled with mental health issues for much of his adult life, Daniel triumphed over his illness through his prolific output of art and songs. He inspired countless fans, artists, and songwriters with his message that no matter how dark the day, 'the sun shines down on me' and 'true love will find you in the end."'

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

HILLARY: The Hillary Clinton Emails

In a surprise performance that critic Jerry Saltz described as "epic", former Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton participated in Kenneth Goldsmith's Venice Biennale project HILLARY: The Hillary Clinton Emails yesterday

Goldsmith's previous found-text projects include a year of transcribed weather reports (The Weather, 2005), a single day of the New York Times (Day, 2003), and broadcast announcements of famous deaths and disasters, including John F Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, John Lennon, Michael Jackson, the Columbine shooting, September 11th, and the explosion of the Challenger Shuttle (Seven American deaths and disasters, 2013).

In 2013 he began a project called Printing Out The Internet, out of which his Venice project seems to have grown. He announced the work in March, calling it "the greatest poem of the 21st century". The work consists of all 30,000 of the emails Clinton sent from the "" domain between 2009 and 2013, 62 000 pages worth.

Hillary Clinton, who was in the country to attend an economic forum, surprised visitors with her appearance at the Cinema Teatro Italia. Many assumed it was a lookalike, said Francesco Urbano Ragazzi, the show's curator. He himself assumed it was a prank when Clinton's team initially reached, asking if she could participate.

Clinton spent a full hour reading excerpts from the emails aloud, while sitting at a replica of the Oval Office's Resolute Desk. Interviewed after the fact she called the event "A personal pleasure for me".

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Robert Frank | The Americans

Robert Frank
The Americans
New York City, USA: Grove Press, 1959
[170] pp., 18.3 × 20.7 cm., hardcover
First Edition

"What a poem this is," Jack Kerouac writes in his introduction, "what poems can be written about this book of pictures some day by young new writers." He goes on to call the book "Better than a show", indicating an astute understanding of artists' books before the genre was even named.

Robert Frank received a Guggenheim grant to produce the work, travelling ten thousand miles across America between April 1955 and June 1956, with the aim of completing a body of work that would be a broad record of Americana, past and present.

Several of the individual images have become iconic, but the book is renowned for its complex sequencing. After shooting over seven-hundred rolls of film, Frank selected 83 images for the book, divided into four chapters, each beginning with an American flag. The American edition differs from the French version published a year prior. Frank discards the original accompanying texts and adds Kerouac's introduction for what became the definitive version of the book.

Photographer Martin Parr amassed a collection of 12,000 photo books, now in the collection of the Tate Modern. He remembers The Americans as being the first book of photography that he owned, purchased in the 70's when he was in college. He considers the title a "masterpiece" and "the most renowned photo book of all."

"[The Americans] changed the nature of photography, what it could say and how it could say it. It remains perhaps the most influential photography book of the 20th century."

- Sean O'Hagan, The Guardian

Frank died yesterday at the age of 94, at his home in Nova Scotia.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Martin Creed | I Can't Move

Martin Creed
I Can't Move
Toronto, Canada: Art Metropole, 1999
12.4 × 14.3 cm.
Edition size unknown

Martin Creed's first solo EP, released on CD twenty years ago, is being reissued this year on vinyl by the publisher, Art Metropole, who is also hosting a performance by the artist later this month.

Martin Creed: Getting Changed is a one-person show described as "a hybrid of a talk, a concert, and a cabaret" which "explores borders both personal and national, communication in the form of clothes, and words as clothes for feelings—presented in his witty, responsive, freestyle way."

This concert, which kicks off a North American tour, takes place on September 22nd, at 8pm. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased here.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Jiří Valoch

Jiří Valoch turns 73 today.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

John Cage

John Cage was born on this day 107 years ago. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Sense Sound/Sound Sense,

Sense Sound/Sound Sense, a traveling exhibition of Fluxus sound works from the Luigi Bonotto Collection, opens today at Whitechapel Gallery in London, and continues until February 2nd, 2020. 

The exhibition features performance, scores, records, editions and objects by artists and composers such as John Cage, Philip Corner, Dick Higgins, Alison Knowles, George Maciunas, Claes Oldenburg and Yoko Ono. 

A catalogue of the same name was published in 2016. 

Monday, September 2, 2019

Track a package : responses to the work of Kay Rosen

(Sally Alatalo, Kenneth Goldsmith, meds)
Track a package : responses to the work of Kay Rosen
Chicago, USA: School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 2007
23 x 29 cm.
Edition size unknown

In the winter term of 2007, Kenneth Goldsmith was a visiting professor at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago, where he co-taught a class with Sally Alatalo called "Publishing as a Project".
They invited Kay Rosen to speak (see the interview on Goldsmith's Ubuweb, here) and the class created this collaborative work in response to her and her work.

The portfolio contains booklets, pamphlets, folded sheets, cards and a DVD. Student contributors include Michael Avella, Andrew Blackley, Amira Hanafi, Jac Jemc, Jessica Moore, Tiffany Slade, Jeremy Tinder, and Polina Zionts.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

David Shrigley | This Is Me Pocket Mirror

David Shrigley
This Is Me Pocket Mirror
Fitzroy, Australia: Third Drawer Down, 2019
7 cm diameter
Edition size unknown

A double-sided pocket mirror features a small bird reading “This is me” on one side and on the other, “This is also me.”

Available for $10 AUD from the publisher, here.