Met Gleason at Trifecta Gallery. July 2014.
The absurd nature of being doused in ice water mimics many performance art strategies of juxtaposing a transformative act on an ordinary human being. But of course, art snobs everywhere are inherently offended by the notion that the general public might be encroaching on their territory.
'ALS Ice Bucket Challenge - Las Vegas Edition' I Greg Chase
. . . or the middle class taking the snobbery out of “the most radical fringes of all self expression: Performance Art and Social Practice,” according to art critic Mat Gleason. At Huffington Post he writes:
Social Practice aside, dousing ice water is incomplete without sharing it on YouTube and challenging others, a social networking engagement / phenomenon that also points to Allan Kaprow's set of rules for mid-20th Century "happenings" that includes the manifesto to "make something new, something that doesn't even remotely remind you of culture." Shaky videos confirm it's usually one take, also a "happening" rule by for its lack of rehearsal. "It's best when it is artless, for better or worse," advised Kaprow.
Candidate for Reno mayor Hillary Schieve and KOLO anchor Sarah Johns challenged Gov. Brian Sandoval, reports the R-J. "The governor’s daughters dumped the buckets of ice water over his head, leaving him sputtering" then challenging Senator Dean Heller, Senator Harry Reid and Commissioner Steve Sisolak of the Clark County Commission. (Sisolak took on the challenge).
2014 to be burned "Man" designed by Larry Harvey and Don Clarke, illustration by Andrew Johnstone and Jim Pire
Courtesy Burning Man
The Burning Man migration to experience sharing and survival in Black Rock is underway. Also in transport, after a slight delay from thunderstorms that left the playa under a layer of mud, are the site-specific spectacles. The collection of ritualistic large-scale works by trained artists and craftsman are one part "outsider art" reappropriated as contemporary art, and also serves as temporary public art for a ritualistic city. This year's theme for the nomadic pop up gallery is "Caravansary" that reflects how "The Silk Road was the world's first information superhighway." From Burning Man:
For countless centuries, travelers along the Silk Route crossed paths in caravansaries, a network of oases and sanctuaries that dotted the 4,000-mile road from Europe to East Asia. These bustling caravan stops offered more than just shelter from the desert wilderness; they were vital centers of cultural exchange, bringing together traders, pilgrims, monks, nomads, traveling entertainers, and wild-eyed adventurers from all points of the compass to share their stories around a common fire. Though fueled by mercantilism, their legacy to us is a grand commerce of ideas — a swirling exchange of languages, legends, technologies, philosophies and art that helped shape nearly every aspect of our modern world.
Rendering for "Embrace," a large-scale sculpture by the Pier Group for Burning Man 2014
From Atlantic's article on the economics and art of Burning Man:
Burning Man is best known for its abundant art, including large-scale installations that protrude from the monotone earth like surreal trees in an unruly forest. The organization dishes out art grants to nourish these expensive projects ($825,000 to 66 installations last year), but many builders also turn to crowd funding.
That's not to say there's no pastiche in the playa. On the list of returning art installations bestowed a Burning Man honorarium is "Bathroom Beacons: Welcome to Fabulous" by Starpony Labs. They write: "Welcome to Fabulous is a redux of the iconic Las Vegas sign, guiding travelers to their #1 or #2 destination spot on the playa."
Via BATHROOM BEACONS: "Bathroom Beacons is a civic art project for Burning Man started in 2012 to make it easier to find the bathrooms at night with three unique art installations located by the portapotties at the Temple and the 3:00 & 9:00 promenades. Each installation is lit at night to guide you to the nearest restroom, while contributing to the unique artistic aesthetic of Burning Man– quirky, ironic, amusing, and blinky! When we were dreaming up the original project, we realized you can’t take bathroom signs too seriously, so they all have a twist or pun that should leave everyone who encounters them with a smile. Or at the very least an urgent sense of relief."
“Organic Study No. 1” at the Rotunda Gallery in Clark County Government Center
Che-Man on First Street between Coolidge and Boulder in the Las Vegas 18b (Art District). July 22, 2013. Photo: PaintThisDesert
In July, Los Angeles-based Michael "Che" Romero dropped in the 18B between stops in Brooklyn and the Bay Area and left this in the Arts District. “Che-Man stems from a multitude of ideas and is a social commentary of what is happening throughout the world,” it says on the artist's website that also points out how Pac-Man is used for cultural familiarity, and each ghost is an ism of destruction and source of social riots; racism, imperialism, fascism and terrorism. His unpainted call-to-action plays off the initials: “Let’s unite and create a RIFT!” Che-Man
Judging by the shadows, Lost Vauge Us must have been at the same spot 24 hours before or after me.
Pete Wells, NYTimes "Critic on the Road," dropped by Las Vegas to stray from The Strip.
Every day, I would leave my hotel in the City Center complex for some other part of town, eat a couple of lunches followed by a dinner or two, then return to my hotel bed. I believe this makes me the first person in history who went to the Las Vegas Strip to sleep.
His stops: Sweets Raku, Kabuto, Chada Thai & Wine, Carson Kitchen, Eat, Le Thai, and Honey Salt.