Publication "A Chronology of Energy- and Art-Related Developments (2013, ongoing)" edited by Christina Hemauer and Roman Keller
Last week we received a copy of the wonderful publication by Zürich-based artists Christina Hemauer and Roman Keller, with whom we have collaborated twice in the past, on the Portscapes commission series in 2009 (see photos of project here and a 'making of' video here) and on their solo exhibition 'United Alternative Energies' in 2011 in Kunsthal Århus, Denmark.
Christina Hemauer and Roman Keller maintain the thesis that throughout history, culture and energy have been reciprocal entities: technological change determines cultural achievements and vice versa.
Latitudes contributed six entries, those of 1901 (Giacomo Balla's "Street Light"), 1956 (Atsuko Tanaka's "Electric Dress"), two entries for 1972 (Victor Grippo's "Energy of a Potato" and Gustav Metzger's "Project for Stockholm (phase 1)", ca. 1987 (Fischli & Weiss's "The Way Things Go") and 2003 (Simon Starling's "Tabernas Desert Run").
The book was made possible by a Dr. Georg und Josi Guggenheim-Stiftung 2012 grant.
Christina Hemauer & Roman Keller
182 pages, 20 x 27 cm, in two colours, linen binding
CHF 38 / EUR 30
All photos: Latitudes (except when noted otherwise in the photo caption)
Amy Balkin's work in the Friedericianum documents her attempt to have the world's atmosphere added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. Latitudes presented an earlier iteration of this work, Public Smog (2004-ongoing), in Greenwashing. Environment: Perils, Promises and Perplexities at the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin in 2008. She also contributed to Land, Art: A Cultural Ecology Handbook with her This is the Public Domain Project (2003–ongoing).
|Amy Balkin's 'The is the Public Domain', in Land, Art: A Cultural Ecology Handbook. Photo: Robert Justamante. Courtesy: Latitudes.|
Both Greenwashing and Land, Art also included the work of Maria Thereza Alves (whose work about Lake Chalco in Mexico City is included in the Ottoneum), the latter with the text 'No Brazil Without Us' by Alves, together with another dOCUMENTA (13) artist, Jimmie Durham. Latitudes also presented Alves' work 'The Sun' (2006, 5'03") in the 2008 film programme ‘A Stake in the Mud, A Hole in the Reel. Land Art's Expanded Field 1968–2008', which began at the Museo Tamayo in Mexico City and toured to eight more venues between April and October 2008. The film features the story of Viganella in the Italian Alps, a small village surrounded by a steep valley that does not allow any direct sunlight during the winter months. Viganella's 200 inhabitants decided to place a large computer-operated mirror at a strategic angle on the south-facing slope on the mountainside in order to reflect the sun on the village’s main piazza.
|Mariana Castillo Deball, 'It rises or falls depending on whether you're coming or going. If you are leaving, it's uphill; but as you arrive it's downhill', 2006. 'Extraordinary Rendition', NoguerasBlanchard, Barcelona, 22 March – 19 May 2007. Photo: Robert Justamante. Courtesy: Latitudes.|
Michael Rakowitz led a seminar on 'Emergencies and Risk' as part of the three-day symposium Latitudes organized for the 8th Sharjah Biennial, the United Arab Emirates in April 2007. An interview with Rakowitz by MoMA Ps1 curator Peter Eleey – entitled 'We Sell Iraqi Dates' – featured in UOVO/14 Ecology, Luxury & Degradation, which Latitudes guest edited in summer 2007. (UOVO/14 also includes an article by dOCUMENTA (13) Core Agent Chus Martínez on Arturas Raila).
Gustav Metzger's RAF/ Reduce Art Flights project was implemented and presented as part of Greenwashing. Environment: Perils, Promises and Perplexities at the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin in 2008, and later included in the 2009 exhibition 'Gustav Metzger, Decades 1959–2009' at the Serpentine Gallery in London. Serpentine Gallery curator Sophie O'Brien wrote this feature on Metzger for Latitudes' project The Last Newspaper (The Last Monitor).
|Tue Greenfort, Untitled, installation of 3 transparent-sided Eurobins outside the exit ramp of Frieze Art Fair, Regents Park, London, October 2008. Photo: Latitudes|
Also in the Karlsaue Park is The Worldly House, a multispecies archive project put together by Tue Greenfort. Latitudes collaborated with Greenfort on several occasions, notably for a public-realm commission in London in conjunction with the Royal Society of Arts, and through contributions to the magazine UOVO/14, the exhibition Greenwashing, and the publication Land, Art: A Cultural Ecology Handbook. The latter two projects also included works by Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla. (And in addition, dOCUMENTA (13) artists Francis Alÿs, Brian Jungen and Natascha Sadr Haghighian also featured in Land, Art.)
Haris Epaminonda and Daniel Gustav Cramer's work at dOCUMENTA (13) take over two floors and the attic of an office building behind the Hauptbahnhof. 'The Garden of Forking Paths', which Latitudes presented at Maisterravalbuena, Madrid, 28 May–31 July 2009, featured the duo's The Infinite Library (2007–ongoing), a seemingly arbitrary archive of spliced publications. Elsewhere in the Hauptbahnhof 'constellation' Lara Favaretto's Momentary Monument IV (2012) comprised a dramatic mass of scrap metal. Mariana Cánepa Luna's interview with Favaretto was published in UOVO 16, January 2008 (pdf here). Haegue Yang was the subject of an interview by Doryun Chong in UOVO/14, Ecology, Luxury & Degradation.
|Haegue Yang on the cover of 'The Last Star-Ledger' as part of 'The Last Newspaper', New Museum, New York, 2010. Photo: Latitudes|
Ayreen Anastas and Rene Gabri – as eXplo – spoke at the symposium Latitudes put together for 'Art, Ecology and the Politics of Change', Sharjah Biennial 8, United Arab Emirates, in April 2007. Last but not least, Ines Schaber's work at dOCUMENTA (13) explores the history of the former monastery, workhouse, and correctional facility at Breitenau. For The Last Newspaper's The Last Gazette, Schaber presented Picture Mining, her research into Lewis Hine in the context of the Corbis archive, housed in a former mine in Pennsylvania.
All photos: Latitudes | www.lttds.org (unless credited otherwise in the caption)
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
'THE LAST MONITOR' AVAILABLE NOW! #5 issue of the 10 Latitudes-edited newspapers for 'The Last Newspaper' exhibition, New Museum
Issue 5: The Last Monitor
(READ IT ON ISSUU)
November 3, 2010
Cover: ‘Today & Yesterday’. Gustav Metzger, Eichmann and the Angel, 2005.
Exclusive interview: Janine Armin on 'The Last Newspaper's work 'Eating the Wall Street Journal' by William Pope L.
Cover Story: Sophie O’Brien on Gustav Metzger
‘Picture Agent: Our singular picture agency’: Jordan Wolfson, artist
The Next Newspaper: Irina Chernyakova on ‘The San Francisco Panorama’
Fit to Print: Adam Chadwick on the digital divide
100 Years Ago…: ‘The Bisbee Daily Review’, 1901–1971, November 3, 1910
Media Habits: Mark von Schlegell, science fiction novelist and art essayist
Focus: Marcel Janco on Sarah Charlesworth
‘Readers’ Lives’: 'Paper-Weight Champion', Inveterate collector Harley Spiller – who recently completed a masters thesis, ‘On Newsstands Now! A History of Paperweights and Newsstand Advertising’ – weighs up the ‘pisapapeles’, ‘Papierbeschwere’, and 鎮紙 of the world.
Feature: ‘Heralding the Gizmo’ Max Andrews on Kirstine Roepstorff
‘Readers’ Lives’ by Marc D’Andre
Infographic: Facebook poll: where does the New Museum's audience get their information?
Cartoon: ‘The Woods: Tools’ by Francesc Ruiz
‘Advertising Department’: Ester Partegàs with Holly Coulis and Ridley Howard
Inveterate collector Harley Spiller – who recently completed a masters thesis, ‘On Newsstands Now! A History of Paperweights and Newsstand Advertising’ – weighs up the ‘pisapapeles’, ‘Papierbeschwere’, and 鎮紙 of the world.
Newsstand paperweights – the usually cast-iron weights that saw their heyday in the 1950s on newsstands across the world – bear the insignia of newspapers and magazines like the New York Times, Toronto Star, Saturday Evening Post, Time, Life, and Newsweek. The Mortimer Spiller Company, Inc., my parents’ advertising and sales promotion business, manufactured and sold these weights from the late 1940s through the mid 1980s. A century of their concerted collecting and documentation efforts has resulted in an archive of 151 unique international newsstand weights, plus the original carved mahogany prototypes, news-dealer aprons and caps, business correspondence, photographs, almost 1,000 news clippings, and more.
Advertising and the media have always been linked. The nation’s first mass-market newspapers and magazines arrived in the 1890s and 1900s, their very existence made possible by advertising fees collected from large corporations and retailers. The first weights to hold down newspapers may have been well-worn horseshoes, which were readily available at the onset of the 20th century, about the time automobiles started replacing horses. Paperweights forged expressly for newsstand use started appearing shortly thereafter, and by mid-century they were a fixture on the urban scene.
In the 1950s and 1960s, some of the thousands of weights Spiller was making were shipped overseas by Life, Time, and the Herald Tribune. These weights were deployed on the handful of major newsstands that sold international publications in London, Paris, and other European capitals. Of the 45 total weights my father collected overseas, from the 1970s until 2005, there are 37 in languages other than English.
The weights Spiller collected on Barcelona’s Las Ramblas, where throngs of people go to shop, sit in public, people-watch, and while away the time, run the gamut from a rudimentary and well-used bent-steel ingot with its painted name La Visión, almost completely obliterated, to gorgeous heavily lacquered enamel and polished metal specimens from periodicals like ABC and El Mundo.
One of the heaviest weights in the collection is a 3 1/4 pound (1.5 kg) metal and plastic rectangle for the German weekly newsmagazine Der Spiegel, its colors reminiscent of Germany’s national flag. Less sophisticated weights made from blocks of wood in countries like Thailand and Venezuela reflect these nations’ less-industrialized position in the world, yet the New York Times has also used wooden weights, and other American publications, such as The National and BackStage have found it cost-effective to produce low-end particle board models.
In the late 20th century people in the United States bought, according to Thomas C. Leonard, “less than half as many newspapers per capita than the Japanese, the Finns, and the Swedes; the British and the Germans also were better customers”. According to the United Nations Development Programme’s 2009 Human Development Report, these six nationalities have the same 99% adult literacy rate, but New York City, perhaps because it is a great city for walking, seems to have the most newsstands and weights per capita in the world. Literacy is but one crucial factor in the sale of print media. Three other important factors in the prominence of newsstands and weights are a well-established culture of media advertising; locations within swarming transportation hubs where people have time to kill, or near heavily trafficked pedestrian areas (or in the case of Los Angeles, near slow-moving traffic jams); and a lively competition among an abundant array of publications. Despite the fact that Cubans are voracious consumers of news and boast an adult literacy tied for first in the world at 99.8 per cent, for example, politics on La Isla are such that news dealers are few and far between. One scantily stocked Havana news shanty opens on Sunday mornings only. Its lines are long, its newspapers are much in demand.
In Japan, newspapers and magazines are commonly sold at train stations and other relatively wind-free indoor or semi-sheltered locations. Publications are ordinarily kept in pristine condition until they are handed over to the customer. Outdoor newsstands are uncommon but some Japanese dealers put their publications in outdoor wire racks especially designed to obviate the need for weights.
The paperweight for The China Press (which goes by the name ‘Overseas Chinese Newspaper’ in Chinese) claims its “rich content” can “heal the homesickness of overseas Chinese” by allowing readers to “contact the feeling” of the mainland. No matter where they are published or distributed, newspapers and magazines provide a link to their land of origin.
Back in Manhattan, for many years, the place to find print journalism from near and far was Hotalings, also known as the Out of Town Newspaper Agency. Hotalings was often the only link between people in New York and their lands of birth. For many others it was the best place to look for jobs and news from outside Gotham. Its huge selection meant customers could find everything from Pravda to Paris Match to Polish Engineering. Founded in 1905, Hotalings newsstands were located over the years in various parts of Times Square, from teeming street corners to the former New York Times Building to a tourist information kiosk on Broadway and 46th Street. New York City’s ever-shifting demographics have long been paralleled by Hotalings’ clientele. “We don't get the crowds from the theater district anymore. People don't roam in Times Square like they used to. It used to be mostly Western Europeans or people interested in Europe,” said Arthur Hotaling, the founder’s grandson, in 1988. “Now we get a lot more people from Latin America and the third world.” Despite efforts in the 1990s to spruce up the store and expand its offerings, the 105-year-old business is today a wholesale-only operation.
The pageantry of print media is in flux. Single-copy sales are down and impulse purchases are more sporadic. Will newspapers and magazines go the way of buggy whips and coin-operated telephones? No one knows, but one thing’s certain – the cast-iron cameos known as newsstand paperweights will last a long time.
Submit your story by emailing ‘The Last Monitor’: [email protected]
The leaflet was produced in occasion of the Latitudes-curated exhibition 'Greenwashing. Environment: Perils, Promises and Perplexities' that took place between February and May 2008 at the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin, Italy.
For the occasion the invitation mailing was accompanied by the pamphlet encouraging visitors to arrange alternative travel to the exhibition.
For further info check http://www.reduceartflights.lttds.org
Gustav Metzger's RAF / Reduce Art Flights campaign initiative changes URL to www.reduceartflights.lttds.org
The content is the same however, the main feature being a 12 minute interview with Gustav Metzger, initiator of the campaign, conducted by Emma Ridgway (now curator at RSA Arts & Ecology) as well the catalogue entry text by Max Andrews of Latitudes.
The new RAF / Reduce Art Flights website www.reduceartflights.lttds.org, is now up featuring an exclusive audio interview with Gustav Metzger by Emma Ridgway about the RAF project and its implementation in the Greenwashing show.