No Privacy

Bay area artist Lucas Murgida in Ghent, Belgium. Video here. Here’s the artist’s statement:

I added a mirror to 2 of the public/private male urinals in the city of Gent. Passers-by will get to share in the joy of public urination as a unwitting man relieves himself. Continue reading

Conflux NYC Update: Murgida’s 9/10


As I plugged here, during the Conflux Festival in NYC Bay area artist Lucas Murgida built a lovely wooden cabinet, left it on a sidewalk and hid inside it. Murgida stayed inside the cabinet for the bulk of Saturday and Sunday afternoon with a bottle of water and some garbage bags, not revealing himself until a New Yorker passing by would seize possession of the cabinet and bring it to their home. 

Saturday was uneventful. The cabinet was left in the street, people were somewhat tempted but in the end the cabinet was left untouched.  On Sunday Murgida repeated the performance and it was–to say the least– much more eventful.  Murgida, along with the cabinet was rolled into the storage room of a restaurant. You can see some shots of what Murgida saw from the pictures he took from his cell phone camera (here).  In the end, although his plan was to leave undetected and in turn, relinquishing posession of the cabinet to the new owner, things worked out a bit differently.  To read the artists final statement of the project Continue reading

Conflux Festival NYC 2008

Even though this is usually estranged and pretty much retired blogger Paco’s territory, it is worth mentioning that this weekend is the annual Conflux Festival in New York City.  Above is Bay area artist Lucas Murgida’s submission 9/10, his outdoor installation will be in place west of the Center for Architecture and south of Washington Square Park on Saturday, September 13th, from noon onward. Here’s the blurb from the organizers:

Starting September 11th, over one hundred local and international artists will transform New York City streets into a laboratory for exploring the urban environment at the Conflux Festival. Located in Greenwich Village at the Center for Architecture (a.k.a. Conflux HQ), the four-day event includes art installations, street art interventions, interactive performance, walking tours, bicycle and public-transit expeditions, DIY media workshops, lectures, films and music.Hosted by Christina Ray (founder of New York art space Glowlab) and a team of New York-based curators, the 5th anniversary of the festival will feature projects including the “$1k Giveaway” by the Federation of Students and Nominally Unemployed Artists; botanical walking tours of Manhattan “narrated” by plants; an iPod video and cell-phone-instructed scavenger hunt through the East Village; an expedition to discover the underground rivers and streams of New York; an interactive installation of New York City trash; solar-powered Morse Code workshops; and London-based collective CutUp, returning for a second year to create fresh work throughout the city. The festival’s keynote speaker is Chris Carlsson, author of the recently-published book: ‘Nowtopia: How pirate programmers, outlaw bicyclists, and vacant-lot gardeners are inventing the future today.’ Be sure to check out all the projects, and see you at Conflux!

Read Murgida’s project description below the fold.  This and many other installations, performances and whatnot will be happening all over.  Do check it out.

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From God’s colon…



A friend of mine, Bay Area artists Lucas Murgida, sent this little story in an email to me and I just had to share:

Imagine this. There is a man that is quite profound. Often he is told how moving his actions are and that people find great comfort in his words. To this he responds, “Its not me. It’s god moving thru me.” This makes most people flush and coo with praises of his gentle modesty. Tragically no one ever truly listens to what he is exactly saying. One day he meets someone that might just understand him. She says, “Your words resonate in me with deep truth.” To this he replies, “Its not me, its God moving thru me.” She says, “You are so modest, and that is why your life is so important.” To this he replies, “No, you are not hearing me. God is moving thru me…kind of like a bowel movement.” He sighs deeply and confesses, “I am in fact gods asshole.” “What??!!” She exclaims. “Through some inter-dimensional rip in space time gods colon has become directly linked to my body. For the past 10 years when he shits the world listens and my body is the conduit,” he says. She replies, “That’s fucking gross.” He says, “I know, but take comfort in the fact that though God’s shit is profound, it still stinks like mine or yours. Don’t come to close as my breath is horrific, like I have been deep throating a homeless mans foot.” He walks away into the sunset leaving the shocked women behind. Relieved of his secret burden he feels renewed and begins his quest to spread gods shit throughout the entire world.

Badiou and Performance Art: Some Notes

Since some on this blog have been on a “Badiou kick” recently (ahem…Shahar), I thought I’d post some thoughts on an article Alain Badiou wrote a while back for Lacanian Ink. In “Fifteen Theses for Contemporary Art,” Badiou suggests that contemporary art must embrace the slogan “something else is possible.” This position mediates what at first appears as the two extremes that drive art, “everything is possible” and “everything is impossible.” Badiou ultimately decides that the two are the same thing, or at the very least, two sides of the same coin; the desire for endless variation within a closed operative system. As Nico Baumbach explains in his essay in Polygraph (17:2005), “To say that everything is possible—there is no end to novelty, variation, the realization of latent consumer fantasies—means only that everything is impossible—there is no new thing that is not made up of a series of effects that cannot be calculated or assimilated to a certain conception of the world that remains fundamentally unaltered.” This assimilation of both positions is also clear in terms of the body, the first position, “everything is possible,” gestures to experimentation with the utmost limits of the body. Such experimentation includes body modification, such as piercing and tattoos, but also extends to the extremes of Chris Burden’s performance and conceptual art. Burden often used his own body as an art object in sometimes shocking acts such as being shot, crucified and electrocuted, in order to confront and destabilize both the artist-observer relationship and the very production of art. Burden’s performance pieces confront the limits of the possible by risking death; the limit of the body is the exhibition itself.

In the second position, the phrase “everything is impossible,” appears as consolation, it is a resignation towards death. From the Levinasian perspective, each position characterizes a “being-towards-death” that has the effect of constituting a subject not unlike Heidegger’s Dasein. In Badiou’s more precise vocabulary, the aggressive inventiveness of an artist like Chris Burden is nothing less than “formalism,” whereas the latter position, which posits death as the decisive statement of our experience, is “romanticism.” Beyond pathos, outside of formalistic novelty, “something else is possible.” Continue reading