Alt Wire with Paddy Johnson of Art Fag City

article image

Alt Wire is a morning digest of links and information collected and explained by a different guest blogger every weekday. Today’s guest is Paddy Johnson of Art Fag City. Check back for tomorrow’s guest, Rinku Sen of ColorLines.

What are surf clubs?  Put simply, they are group blogs in which a small number of artists surf the web for images, videos and other ephemera, and re-post the material with varied amounts of manipulation.  In short, they are an internet artist’s sketchbook, and generally very fun to peruse. Here are a few recent highlights:

Spirit Surfers:Spirit surfers divide their posts loosely into two sections, The Boon, which typically host the found material, and The Wake, a field below where they show how they got there.  In this case, The Boon is NOT work safe, and the wake arguably so. (Post by Seneca/2)

Nasty Nets: Tom Moody of Nasty Nets, a group surf blog known for its predilection towards older technology models and aesthetics, posted ads the United Art Contractors published in a 1984 issue of ArtForum. “We make very acceptable conceptual art” reads a show solicitation promising to pay any taker money in exchange for an exhibition. “We just want to know where to pay our dues.”  According to a PDF cited separately on Moody’s blog, Publico Presents, “In March 1985, Michael Selic, president of Works, San Jose, took the Contractors’ thousand dollars–along with their stipulation that he spend it entirely on himself, not the gallery.”

Confiding in Google: Taking cues from the Facebook meme which requires you to list the first ten Google results culled by plugging your name and the word “needs” into the search engine, this screen capture documents its suggestions for “I want,” “I need,” “I am so,” and “I am so bored.”  Notably the first result for last of these states indicates the internet’s ultimate validation: url ownership.  (Post by Guthrie Lonergan)

Flickr Favorites:Travis Hallenback’s collection of favorite Flickr photographs by other members hasn’t been posted to a surf club in which he’s a member, but the spirit seems close enough to warrant a mention. Evoking the best of Ryan McGinley’s earlier work, these curated photographs have a humble and completely unique quality to them.

One more from Nasty Nets: Transitioning. Simply mesmerizing. Joel Holmberg.

BIO: Paddy Johnson is a writer and lecturer who lives and works in Brooklyn. She runs the Art Fag City blog, writes a regular column for The L Magazine, and is a recent recipient of the Warhol Foundation’s Arts Writers Grant.

Previous Alt Wire Guests: Melissa Mcewan,Fatemeh Fakhraie,Joe BielAnne Elizabeth Moore

In-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.