Think Tank Gallery, Los Angeles is an urban art gallery in a city that is realizing its post-street art potential. The gallery focuses on integration and progression with each show, and serves as a place to inspire with each event and exhibition shared within the historic part of Downtown LA it inhabits.
INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION COMMANDER CHRIS HADFIELD INSPIRES MILLIONS TO KEEP WONDERING ABOUT OUTER SPACE
In a video that is doing an incredible job at making its internet rounds of late, Astronaut Chris Hadfield achieved what he set out to do by soaring into viral video stardom this week with his cover of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” from 1969. The former commander of the International Space Station (who handed over his position on Monday, after a six-month stint, to Russian cosmonaut Pavel Vinogradov) has long been an active proponent in the cause of human exploration of outer space.
The video comes at a time when mankind ponders its power over the universe, as we have successfully sent machines we’ve built to the surface of another planet in our solar system, and sent back images from that planet. Hadfield’s massive popularity online has got many people curious about outer space again, looking toward some of the more innovative ways we are thinking about moving through it. We are also contemplating what our capabilities and resources are in expanding our adventurous horizons of exploration, taking the most widely effective methods of communication, in the internet as well as documentary and reality television, and using them to finance human expansion…
Mars One is on the list of the most ambitious feats ever attempted, taking the power of reality television and harnessing it to send a group of individuals to colonize Mars. Straight out of a sci-fi novel, applicants to the program are submitting their “casting calls” online, and being voted into top positions of consideration. Those selected will receive training, and by 2023 will arrive on a prepped surface of the first ever alien planet to support human life, where they will live out the rest of their days. Mars One’s plan is to broadcast this to all of the world, financing the expensive project through the inevitable media frenzy that will come with the greatest scientific and social human accomplishment of all time.
Hadfield, along with others who have used the internet to share the wonders of the area outside of our atmosphere, has proven that reaching individuals through things like art, music, and social sharing can be the important next step in inspiring the conscious and formidable expansion of human evolution - an evolution that has above all valued exploration and progression.
PORTRAITS OF PEOPLE CRYING IN THE PRESENCE OF MARINA ABRAMOVIC
Three years ago, famous Yugoslavian artist Marina Abramovic created one of the most popular performance pieces of all time when she sat in the New York Museum of Modern Art for 716 hours and 30 minutes, peering into the eyes, and some say the souls, of over 1,500 people. All sorts of content has poured forth from this artistic experiment for those unfortunate enough to miss out on its mystifying happening, like the video game based on the experience by popular art world-mocking game developer Pippin Barr.
Design Taxi recently reported on an intense photography book (that we somehow missed) that captures the essence of this piece quite well. Portraits in the Presence of Marina Abramovic documents the faces of those who cried looking into the artist’s intense gaze, and records the amount of time it took to reach this point, from 164 minutes all the way down to just two. Check out more here.
• Fancy schmancy people sipping bad wine and making awkward small talk in front of boring paintings
That’s what Standard Culture has to say about the upcoming festival of fun that LA Weekly’s Artopia promises to present. The event explored a few different venues in its search for a home when planning began many months back (Think Tank was even in the running, alongside places like the Brewery Art Colony), and its final resting place became Chinatown’s Central Plaza. Good thing, too, because the beautiful and spacious, historic part of the neighborhood will do a great job at housing the amazing list of art experiences attendees can expect to enjoy.
From a hand-painted bouncy castle by Alia Pennerto a punk dance party DJ’d by Black Flag’s Keith Morris, and a “poppybombing” by land artist Christy Roberts to a “paper architecture” performance by Amy Fortunato, the event is shaping up to be one of the coolest ways to wrap up your spring before we head back into the heat of summer.
ADOBE ENTERS THE WORLD OF SUBSCRIPTION-BASED SERVICES
While it makes sense for companies like Spotify and Netflix to offer their services for a monthly fee - they are, after all, providing a regularly renewing flow of originally-created entertainment content - the subscription model is something that might be hard to swallow for other services. Perhaps the largest victim since the dawn of the web of stolen services, Adobe is turning away from their one-time program purchase model and into one that will offer programs up for as little as $20/month. The world has moved into one of apps, and one where content is provided through cloud services and less dependent on physical copies and outright purchases. But what does this mean for those who work through Photoshop or Illustrator? Is it like a carpenter paying a monthly rate to use his hammer? Complex’s Michael Thomsen contemplates that question here.
Cari Vander Yacht has a pretty awesome website full of all sorts of art and animation. Her TGIMGIF (Thank God It’s Monday’s Graphics Interchange Format) series took around 50-year-old photographs and animated them for the purpose of a nice smile to start your week. Check out a few above and the rest of them here.
ARTIST TURNS GALLERY INTO THOUGHT-PROVOKING CAKE WALK
Following a series of tragedies that have seen gun control become a major topic in American conversation, installation artist and mixed-media sculptor Scott Hove takes a fresh perspective on the discussion with his new exhibit, Guns and Ecstasy, which runs until May 25th at Spoke Art in San Francisco. The work is as much about the inherent danger in attractive things as it is a way to provoke alternative thought on a now-overbearing conversation - artificial frosting with fake oranges, cherries, and strawberries crowding the halls. The fact that beautiful things are equipped with defense mechanisms, and the relationship that creates with predators was a major driving factor for Hove, who also had this to say:
“Why then, to use an absurd media like fake cake to describe such a story? We all love cake and what it signifies. Celebration. Important occasion. Indulgence. Reward. It is fortunate for myself and my sculptures that our minds are highly suggestive, and that we are willing to tolerate the idea of something artificial to represent what we desire. The representation itself becomes that which is most desirable. These sculptures celebrate the beauty, rapaciousness and absurdity we all participate in.”
In a new exhibit that attempts to begin measuring the importance of Native American art in the spectrum of the biggest American contribution to the institutional art world, Everything Old is New Again: Native Americans and the New York School explores an often overlooked aspect of the AbEx movement. While artists like Jackson Pollack made strong connections to Native art throughout their careers, and while Rauschenberg may have proudly proclaimed his 1/4 Cherokee heritage, there was still a great absence of recognition for the oldest art in North America when the New York School made its takeover.
Everything Old is New Again observes this absence, avoiding the usual trap of chalking Native art up to primitive inspiration. Visit the show before June 2nd and check out more details here.
AMAZING PHOTO SERIES OF HITCHHIKING, RUNAWAY TEENS
This is one of the most compelling street photo series’ you’ve ever seen. That much can be pretty much guaranteed. A huge collection of legal and not-so-legal images captured by Mike Brodie has been put together into a book of the series, after he ran away with his teenage friends and found a discarded Polaroid stuck behind the seat of a car. Once he picked it up, he knew that he had to document the adventurous hitchhiking that would take him across the country and back, through 46 states and over 50,000 miles.
We’ve rarely seen photographs with such character and soul. There’s a rawness to Brodie’s work, a reflection one would think on the ramshackle nature of his environment. The images below were shot using 35mm film, providing a rich tapestry to his exhilarating and unique journeys.
MOCA ARCHITECTURE SHOW COULD BE CANCELED, GEHRY COULD WALK
While other museums contemplate an LA that never was, and in much cheaper fashion, the Museum of Contemporary Art continues its financial troubles, getting assistance from yet another art institution and exhausting the funds without following through on purpose for its show that focuses on the last 25 years of Los Angeles architecture. There is a chance the show will still happen, but it seems as though it will at least have to be pushed from its promised June 2nd opening night. There are also talks that the show may be moving from the MOCA Geffen location to the Ace Museum on La Brea.
Worse yet, star player in the show Frank Gehry has had some harsh words to contribute about his experience in the planning of the exhibit.
“I didn’t feel comfortable in it,” Gehry said. “It didn’t seem to be a scholarly, well-organized show.”
He added, “I’m subject to misunderstanding about the seriousness of my work. People assume I am just crumpling paper, and so forth. This was feeling a bit that way, a trivialization.”
Whole Beast Rag, whose two founders Grace Littlefield and Katharine Hargreaves are collaborative artists at Think Tank, hosts Mondays on the Think Tank blog. WBR is a print and online publication and project label working to bring together stimuli that fertilizes the brain.
Have you ever tried to throw an event for 300+ people in a major metropolitan area after living in said area for only like five months or so while simultaneously trying to figure out CADD, SketchUp and InDesign minutiae at a new job (as a writer at a design firm) and are struggling to find a place to live with a cat sans energy for bourgeois party animals at an AirBandB?
I am in the midst of that shit show right now.
It’s hard to find the time to think holistically about and trust people involved with something so personal to you when your world is suspended and also somehow heavier than you can bear. Event planning, especially for something like my magazine’s upcoming Heart of Darkness: Ball of Shadows event on June 1, is never quite the gravy train you expect it to be. As Kat, my co-editor, and I have repeatedly encountered in conversation recently, the solstice is in full swing as we try to ride out this tumultuous month and make the event a success—creatively and otherwise.
But who knew that ticket sales would be stagnant until one week before the show? Who knew that bar permits were about as much as the fine for public drunkenness in California? Who knew that two living situations would be ripped from beneath us after we gave notice to leave a preferable (though a bit cramped) living situation? I’m grateful to have a job and also be doing things with Whole Beast Rag, but where do I focus my energy when basic needs are unstable?
The past few weeks have been rough (the past eight days, in particular). And there is only one way for me to feel halfway decent—I talk to people I encounter about what I’m going through as frankly as possible (usually with Kat, because when are we ever apart). Then I laugh. Really hard.
There are great things happening, too, and for Christ’s fucking sake I know that. And I know that “things are never as bad as they seem” and that “we’ll figure it out.” I’m not an invalid or otherwise unaware of these things, but that’s not what I want to hear when lay some real talk on someone—I just want reassurance that this is all part of a larger struggle for balance (which sounds like an oxymoron, but that’s just life smacking you in the face and growling).
Just listen to me, and let’s level with each other.