Bill Arning

Bill Arning is Curator at the List Visual Arts Center at MIT.

  • America Starts Here

    America Starts Here

    Kate Ericson and Mel Ziegler

    Ian Berry and Bill Arning

    Works by public art pioneers and collaborators Kate Ericson and Mel Ziegler, whose influential community-based interventions were marked by a poetic combination of conceptual and political ideas.

    During their decade-long collaboration (1985-1995), Kate Ericson and Mel Ziegler produced some of the most influential conceptual art projects of the time. Among their witty and stimulating installations and outdoor projects was Camouflaged History, a house painted in a U.S. Army-designed camouflage pattern using 72 commercial paint colors included in the municipally-approved "authentic colors" of historic Charleston, South Carolina. The commercial name of each paint, commemorating an aspect of the city's history, is also painted on the house, revealing and illuminating the lingering Civil War-era past of the region. Like the Earthwork pioneers, Ericson and Ziegler took the whole country as their working space; but rather than impose a conspicuous work of art upon a site or situation, they devised projects that altered sites subtly, creating a patchwork of poetic narratives and histories to be excavated. The windows rescued from the old National Licorice factory in Philadelphia in the title piece America Starts Here—which takes its name from the slogan used to promote Pennsylvania tourism during the 1980s—are hung according to the location of the original windows in the factory; the cracks in the glass echo the famous cracks in two of Philadelphia's tourist attractions, the Liberty Bell and Marcel Duchamp's The Large Glass.

    Kate Ericson's death from cancer in 1995 at age 39 made the body of Ericson and Ziegler's collaborative work finite. America Starts Here offers a generous selection of Ericson and Ziegler's work, with much of it reproduced in color, and provides a critical analysis of the artists' still under-appreciated position in the history of twentieth-century art. It accompanies the first retrospective exhibition of Ericson and Ziegler's work.

    Copublished with The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College and List Visual Arts Center at MIT.

    • Hardcover $46.95 £38.00

Contributor

  • Sensorium

    Sensorium

    Embodied Experience, Technology, and Contemporary Art

    Caroline A. Jones

    Artists and writers reconsider the relationship between the body and electronic technology in the twenty-first century through essays, artworks, and an encyclopedic "Abecedarius of the New Sensorium."

    The relationship between the body and electronic technology, extensively theorized through the 1980s and 1990s, has reached a new technosensual comfort zone in the early twenty-first century. In Sensorium, contemporary artists and writers explore the implications of the techno-human interface. Ten artists, chosen by an international team of curators, offer their own edgy investigations of embodied technology and the technologized body. These range from Matthieu Briand's experiment in "controlled schizophrenia" and Janet Cardiff and Georges Bures Miller's uneasy psychological soundscapes to Bruce Nauman's uncanny night visions and François Roche's destabilized architecture. The art in Sensorium—which accompanies an exhibition at the MIT List Visual Arts Center—captures the aesthetic attitude of this hybrid moment, when modernist segmentation of the senses is giving way to dramatic multisensory mixes or transpositions. Artwork by each artist appears with an analytical essay by a curator, all of it prefaced by an anchoring essay on "The Mediated Sensorium" by Caroline Jones. In the second half of Sensorium, scholars, scientists, and writers contribute entries to an "Abecedarius of the New Sensorium." These short, playful pieces include Bruno Latour on "Air," Barbara Maria Stafford on "Hedonics," Michel Foucault (from a little-known 1966 radio lecture) on the "Utopian Body," Donna Haraway on "Compoundings," and Neal Stephenson on the "Viral." Sensorium is both forensic and diagnostic, viewing the culture of the technologized body from the inside, by means of contemporary artists' provocations, and from a distance, in essays that situate it historically and intellectually. Copublished with The MIT List Visual Arts Center.

    • Hardcover $46.95 £38.00
  • Imported

    Imported

    A Reading Seminar

    Rainer Ganahl

    From 1993-96, artist Rainer Ganahl held six reading seminars with six different bibliographies in six different countries and entitled this public project; "IMPORTED—A READING SEMINAR, Or How to Reinvent the Coffee Table: 25 Books for Instant Use (7 Different National Versions).” Imported – A Reading Seminar is an extension of that project and gathers together a collection of texts with the common theme of import. For this volume, Ganahl invited a series of authors who have an intimate relation with each country he visited to contribute texts or interviews addressing the consequences of (cultural) exchange, globalization, nationalism, multinationalism, Orientalism, Eurocentrism, tourism, languages, theory, desires, identity, and politics from a variety of perspectives. The interview between Kojin Karatani and Sabu Kohso, included in this volume, addresses important economical and political aspects along with its instrumentality in the construction of nations and of race consciousness; Bill Arning's text demonstrates how the author came to understand through his experience as a curator that sexuality always has a specific cultural context; Coco Fusco deals with issues of prostitution in socialist countries now in the process of transition to capitalism; dealing with displacement of collective identities and their representation, Sami Naïr asks the question: What is it to be Arab? And Sylvere Lotringer: How can one become a foreigner in a foreign country. The resulting volume includes texts in English, Japanese, Russian, German, and French by nineteen different authors. Knowledge of a foreign language helps, but is not necessary. Along with those already mentioned included are texts by Julia Kristeva, Gayatri Spivak, Edward Said, Zeigam Azizov, Lisa Adkins, Dan Bacalzo, Benjamin Buchloh, Karen Kelsky, Dana Leonard, Edward Soja, Victor Tupitsyn, Wulf Schmidt-Wulfen.

    • Paperback $16.95 £13.99