D.I. Happenings

Constellation 24: The Taste of Desire

6.1.13 Christina Schmid

From cocktails to color, food trucks to fashion, astronauts and art, Quodlibetica’s summer 2013 constellation probes the curious edges of desire. What do we want when we look at art? What do we desire in a perfect drink? From impossible desires of astronautical proportions to gender-bending dapper performances, our latest issue treads new ground.

Jan Binder ponders the ultimate cocktail, while Tom Haakenson goes on a food rant.

Ady Olson shares her quest for an art that makes a difference in how we live together. The 30-day Dapper Challenge locates a similar line of inquiry in the realm of style: how do creative appropriations of suits and ties loosen our understanding of masculinity and affect how we perceive gender every day?

Lightsey Darst’s foray into fashion revels in the sensuality of color and explores the world of color forecasting.

Christina Schmid chats about rockets and astronauts with Cheryl Wilgren Clyne, whose air sweet air art lab co-conspired with the Real Engineers Club to bring the astronaut spirit academy to St. Paul on June 8.

We hope you enjoy the constellation. Happy summer!

Yours,

The editors.

Constellation 23: Art on the Town!

3.1.13 Christina Schmid

“Criticism is a moral obligation,” said Phong Bui, mastermind behind The Brooklyn Rail, when he was in town last week. “If a show is not written about, it never happened.”

To defy such looming oblivion, Quodlibetica’s intrepid volunteers turn new eyes to Art on the Town—exhibitions, performances, and film–in our March constellation.

Lea Devon Sorrentino peeks into the altered world of Joe Smith’s Softside at David Petersen Gallery. Jen Caruso talks to painters about process and paintings, inspired by the Walker Art Center’s Painter Painter show. Coeditor Christina Schmid wants more now from recent shows of feminist art, while Collier White tackles Michael Haneke’s Amour on his way to razing the current film industry.

Coeditor Thomas Haakenson bravely goes to the ballet, where he finds bears, marshmallows, and lots of motion.

Jenna Westrick spends some time with Tricia Khutoretsky, curator of the soon-to-open Public Functionary. And Brandon Regner continues his provocative train of thought (begun in our last constellation) about the boundaries of fine and commercial art,

We hope you enjoy! If you like what you see on this site and want to get involved, please contact us at quodlibetica@gmail.com.

Up for June: Desire.

Desire is terribly specific.

We know what we want: this but not that. Him but not her. So, what do we want from art? And, by extension, from other forms of creative production?

When do we know, how do we know, desire in the presence of art?

If this is a question you’re interested in thinking and writing about, please let us know. We look forward to learning about your desires.

Quodlibetica in March: Art on the Town

2.8.13 Christina Schmid

We are about to leave the familiar behind and, for the first time ever, write about ballet and theater. The topic for March’s constellation is Art on the Town. So, if you’ve seen something that you have something to say about in local galleries, movie theaters, or on stage–let us know: quodlibetica@gmail.com

School Is Out!

12.1.12 Christina Schmid

In a metropolitan area bustling with colleges and universities, no sight is more unsightly than recent, often heavily-indebted graduates clutching art school degrees as they enter–optimistically, hopefully, possibly naively–life after art school.

We were curious to hear from these makers, those creative artists and designers emerging from the comforting, restricting vestibules of academic training and entering the “real” art world. What does this art world look like and feel like, especially to those trained for, yet for a moment of time, partially sheltered from it? What are the challenges, the lingering questions an education in the creative professions failed to answer?

For our December constellation, we Quodlibetica editors present an unusual mix of voices: recent graduates and life-long students, people who left town and folks who stayed put. We are proud to present new contributors Jeffrey Berger, Madeline Crew, Katelyn Farstad, Andrew Hetrick, and Jenna Westrick, and welcome returning writers Brandon Regner and Lightsey Darst.

We hope you find this constellation of Quodlibetica an educational one. There will be an exam.

Something Old, Something New

9.1.12 Christina Schmid

Changes are afoot at Quodlibetica. Travel and turbulent times have prompted us to take a hiatus, get unmoored from old habits, find new bearings, and figure out the proverbial things in store for Quodlibetica.

The occasion for our taking stock: Quodlibetica is about to turn three. ‘Twas the fall of 2009 when our project first launched. In honor of our anniversary we bring you a sampling of the most memorable texts from the first three years. Unforgettable faves, remixed: Jan Estep on conceptual art, Sheila Dickinson on Kathy Prendergast, Collier White on public art, and Lightsey Darst on Body Cartography.

But we could not help but throw in something new as well, since some of our writers and editors just cannot stop writing about art: Christina Schmid’s essay on Marjorie Schlossman’s paintings was published this summer by Plains Art Museum, but in case you have not seen the elegant catalog, here it is.

We hope you enjoy.

Constellation 20: Re: Identity

6.1.12 Christina Schmid

GhostinthemachineDurham2005

Identity politics still stirs argument: about ontological certainties and processes of identifications, about the license to choose identities and the forces that inscribe identities on bodies, about subjects and objects. What may have changed, though, is how we approach identity. Our contributors grapple with questions surrounding identity and mis-/dis-identifications in a number of ways, bumping into the limitations of language at each step: African American meets “post-black,” gender essentialism clashes with cosplay, the meanings of national identity shift in and out of focus, while flicker-fusion rates remind us of the gaps between our moments and what we cannot help but fail to perceive. Consider this constellation a snapshot, then, inconclusive and as problematic as the topic remains to be.

Image: Jimmie Durham, Ghost in the Machine , 2005.

Fun with Word Art

4.1.12 Christina Schmid

renemg

Despite its many shortcomings, language allows for considerable precision: with quasi-mathematical clarity, English verb tenses discriminate between past actions that are truly over and those actions that still have an impact on the present, either by resulting in an ongoing state of affairs or by acute symptoms. (“I have been painting” would be the correct way to account for my actions if I were to open the door, splattered in color, and met your inquisitive eyes.) But the twin knives of beauty and precision, carving the world into manageable portions, excel at obfuscating what falls outside the realm of the sensible and the curious profundities we encounter on the cusp of meaning.

Artists who venture to this edge travel different routes: from sound poetry’s auditory abstractions, to the marvelous world of morphemes, to glitches in muscle memory that transform familiar words, poets and word artists mine happy accidents and accidental coinages. On the level of the sentence, projects like the “frequency poetry generator,” Flarf (discussed by Elisabeth Workman in this constellation) or various forms of cut-ups and verbal assemblage effectively escape the corset of grammar and produce a language running wild with possibilities. Artists try to get lost in translation, defy the demands of linear storytelling—as in the intriguing piece of electronic literature, 88 Constellations for Wittgenstein (To Be Played With The Left Hand) by David Carr—and, with varying degrees of subtlety, open up spaces in our minds: language may delimit our world, but there is no good reason whatsoever to stay put or to yield to the imperative to make sense.

Quodlibetica, as a word and a project, is no passive, impartial bystander in such negotiations. We stretched and tweaked quodlibet to not only encompass its conventional meanings–a proposition for discussion, the actual discussion, or, in music, the whimsical combination of different elements—but adulterated it to refer to visual culture and art, before adding an ending that suggests both plurality and playfulness. As a project, open-ended and evolving, Quodlibetica continues to hover between the rigor and occasional unwieldiness of academic prose, the joy of intellectual engagement that seeks to transform the curious experiences we have with art into words, and bridge, as much as we can, the distance between makers and thinkers, criticism and community. The point, if there is one, lies in mining the possibilities of the in-between, of cherishing the nameless piece of prose that is neither scholarship nor journalism, neither fiction nor memoir.

Does it make sense to do that? Probably not. But that is precisely the reason we keep doing it.

Wildly,

Erica

Quodlibetica in April and June

2.2.12 Christina Schmid

Constellation 19: Wildly Erika: Fun With Word Art
Proposals Due to quodlibetica@gmail.com: March 1.

From the unexpectedly profound typo to the meta-meanings of flarf, this constellation mines the spaces in between words, meanings, and typography. Wildly Erika–that is, “quodlibetica,” auto-corrected by itouch–serves as the starting point for word art: connections, connotations, and commotion, stutters, stammers, splutters, and letters at play.

Key Dates for Contributors:
1 March 2012      Deadline for Proposals (100 words or less)

15 March 2012    Deadline for Submissions (750-2250 words; posted to Google  Docs; invite quodlibetica@gmail.com to share)

23 March 2012    Revision Suggestions and Other Comments from Editor

29 March 2012    Final Essay and 3-4 Accompanying Images; if a New Contributor, submit Biographical Blurb (3-4 sentences) and Author’s Photo

1 April 2012        Constellation 19 is Launched

Constellation 20: Re: identity


Proposal Due to quodlibetica@gmail.com: May 1.

Whatever happened to identity politics, that oft maligned way of organizing, thinking, and theorizing? Given the recent resurgence of feminism, suspicions of lingering double standards and resilient boys’ clubs, immigration issues and tokenism, we wonder how artists today take on identity: Do they disrupt the old politics, or does any discourse on identity still need to be rooted in the identity politics of race, class, gender and so on? Do queer, nomadic, virtual, and generally unreliable identifications promise more complicated, messier art, or are such orchestrated disruptions simply a case of the emperor’s new clothes?

Key Dates for Contributors:
1 May 2012          Deadline for Proposals (100 words or less)

15 May 2012        Deadline for Submissions (750-2250 words; posted to Google Docs; invite quodlibetica@gmail.com to share)

23 May 2012        Revision Suggestions and Other Comments from Editor

29 May 2012        Final Essay and 3-4 Accompanying Images; if a New Contributor, submit Biographical Blurb (3-4 sentences) and Author’s Photo

1 June 2012        Constellation 19 is Launched

Constellation 18: The Icy Issue

2.1.12 Christina Schmid

Paula McCartney

In Quodibetica’s eighteenth constellation, The Icy Issue, we invited our contributors to think about place: art on view here and now, but also place as landscape, concept, problem.

Lightsey Darst and the artists running One Room Schoolhouse reflect on two of this year’s Art Shanties on frozen Medicine Lake. Andy Sturdevant’s “Word on the Weather” takes us on thin ice, too, when he contemplates Paula McCartney’s recent book of photograms entitled On Thin Ice, In A Blizzard. Lest we begin to feel chilly, Marsha Olson proposes a trip to St. Paul’s Marjorie McNeely Conservatory to ease winter woes, while Thomas Haakenson spent some time warming up by the fireplaces in the Turnblad Mansion, home of the American Swedish Institute’s current wood carving exhibit.

Thinking about place and our relationship to it, we asked Mason Riddle to share her thoughts on two recent shows with us, “Regarding Place” and “Power and Place” at the Nash Gallery. And finally, Christina Schmid was fortunate to get an early look at Megan Vossler’s “Overlook: Landscape Studies,” soon to open at Macalester College.

If you like what you see on the site and want to get involved, please take a look at the calls for contributing to our April and June issues below. We’d love to hear from you!

Image: Paula McCartney, photogram from On Thin Ice, In A Blizzard.

Call for Constellation 19: Wildly Erika: Fun With Word Art
Proposals Due to quodlibetica@gmail.com: March 1.

From the unexpectedly profound typo to the meta-meanings of flarf, this constellation mines the spaces in between words, meanings, and typography. Wildly Erika–that is, “quodlibetica,” auto-corrected by itouch–serves as the starting point for word art: connections, connotations, and commotion, stutters, stammers, splutters, and letters at play.

Key Dates for Contributors:
1 March 2012      Deadline for Proposals (100 words or less)

15 March 2012    Deadline for Submissions (750-2250 words; posted to Google  Docs; invite quodlibetica@gmail.com to share)

23 March 2012    Revision Suggestions and Other Comments from Editor

29 March 2012    Final Essay and 3-4 Accompanying Images; if a New Contributor, submit Biographical Blurb (3-4 sentences) and Author’s Photo

1 April 2012        Constellation 19 is Launched

Call for Constellation 20: Re: identity
Proposal Due to quodlibetica@gmail.com: May 1.

Whatever happened to identity politics, that oft maligned way of organizing, thinking, and theorizing? Given the recent resurgence of feminism, suspicions of lingering double standards and resilient boys’ clubs, immigration issues and tokenism, we wonder how artists today take on identity: Do they disrupt the old politics, or does any discourse on identity still need to be rooted in the identity politics of race, class, gender and so on? Do queer, nomadic, virtual, and generally unreliable identifications promise more complicated, messier art, or are such orchestrated disruptions simply a case of the emperor’s new clothes?

Key Dates for Contributors:
1 May 2012          Deadline for Proposals (100 words or less)

15 May 2012        Deadline for Submissions (750-2250 words; posted to Google Docs; invite quodlibetica@gmail.com to share)

23 May 2012        Revision Suggestions and Other Comments from Editor

29 May 2012        Final Essay and 3-4 Accompanying Images; if a New Contributor, submit Biographical Blurb (3-4 sentences) and Author’s Photo

1 June 2012        Constellation 19 is Launched

Constellation 17: To The Galleries!

12.1.11 Christina Schmid

“To the Galleries!” we called—and to the galleries you went. In this latest constellation, Quodlibetica’s seventeenth, follow Lightsey Darst and Tom Westbrook to the Walker Art Center. Darst reflects on the curious second life of the costumes, props, and backdrops of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company as museum objects, while Westbrook compares the 1989 “Graphic Design in America” to “Now in Production,” the latest effort to position graphic design inside the gallery.

On-line via Facebook, Rene Meyer-Grimberg and Thomas Haakenson paid a visit to Air Sweet Air, an ambitious new art space run by Cheryl Wilgren-Clyne, in St. Paul. On the other side of the river, Stephanie Xenos talked to Wing Young Huie about The Third Space in South Minneapolis. And moving beyond, Jonathan Kaiser takes us from alternative spaces to alternative models of art-making in his far-ranging reflection on artist collectives and the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Meanwhile, at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Jen Caruso spent time with the MAEP’s latest, the three-person exhibition entitled “Semblances,” while Christina Schmid was busy thinking about Rachel Breen, beetle beans, and Andrea Bowers.

Enjoy!