Explain Me
The NFT Explain Me with Marina Galperina and Amy Whitaker

The NFT Explain Me with Marina Galperina and Amy Whitaker

March 9, 2021
On this episode of Explain Me we do a deep dive on Non-Fungible Tokens, NFTs, pronounced Nifty, by also N-F-T. Joined by guests Marina Galperina, features editor of Gizmodo, and former curator and writer on digital art, and Amy Whitaker, author and assistant professor of visual arts administration, hosts William Powhida and Paddy Johnson navigate the headlines generating news around this new digital currency, the basic definitions, and the potential and dangers it poses to artists. 
 
Timestamped resources
 
 
7' NFT definitions and the blockchain 
 
13 Do artists need to care? 
 
21' The Guardian features Marina Galperina's Vine Show. 

26' Beeple Mania and aesthetics discussion - Liberal Jon McNaughton or early digital art maximalism in the style of Cliff Evans and Kenneth Tin-Kin Hung

 
40' NFT platforms and markets. Massimo Franceschet and Sparrow Read's The Inconvenient Truth About Secondary Markets, Part II 

43' Legacy Russell tweets about the toxic white male culture dominating NFT conversation. Follows up with a shout out to QTPOCIA+ and female-identified people engaging NFTs.

 
44' Who is the face of NFTs? Kenny Schachter. His NFT article on Artnet. 
 
47' Kenny Schachter's "Scam Likely" on Nifty Gateway.

51' Alternatives - Casey Reese's Artist-to-artist exchange with Bitmark.com, Feral File. Goes live March 19.

Also relevant: Reese's Medium article, Collecting Art in the Age of Digital Reproduction 
57' - NFT and blockchain carbon footprint

1 hour 10' Reasons for optimism

1 hour 16' Art pricing and Greg Allen's Facsimile Objects
 
1 hour 22' Amy Whitaker discusses valuation and commensuration sociological studies
 
Read and Watch
 
Amy Whitaker, A New Way To Pay Artists, TEDXfoggybottom
Amy Whitaker and Roman Kraussl, Fractional Equity, Blockchain, and the Future of Creative Work, Management Science, July 2020
Amy Whitaker, Art and Blockchain: A Primer, History, and Taxonomy of Blockchain Use Cases in the Arts, Artivate: A Journal of Entrepreneurship in the Arts. Summer 2019

Amy Whitaker, Hannah Grannemann, Artists’ Royalties and Performers’ Equity: A Ground-Up Approach to Social Impact Investment in Creative Fields, CMSE Vol 3, no 2, pg 33-51.
Memo Atkin, The Unreasonable Ecological Cost of #Cryptoart, Dec 14 2020
Rea McNamara, How Crypto Art Might Offer Artists Increased Autonomy, March 2, 2021

 
Explain Me With Art Critic Ben Davis: The Year That Wasn’t, Part Two

Explain Me With Art Critic Ben Davis: The Year That Wasn’t, Part Two

December 14, 2020

 

Immersive Van Gogh

In this episode of Explain Me, we continue our conversation with Artnet's National Critic Ben Davis as we take stock of 2020. 

In this episode: 

Explain Me with Art Critic Ben Davis: The Year That Wasn’t, Part One

Explain Me with Art Critic Ben Davis: The Year That Wasn’t, Part One

December 14, 2020
"Immersive Van Gogh"

In this episode of Explain Me, we take stock of the year in art with Artnet's National Critic Ben Davis.

What happened in the art world in 2020?  We ask this knowing that we obviously have not seen a lot of art or attended anything remotely like a normal opening. But, a lot happened this year, even if we experienced it all at a distance.

We know that, with the vaccine slowly rolling out now, the art world will return, but what are the implications of the pandemic for the art world this coming fall and beyond?

In part one of this episode we discuss: 

The few upsides of the pandemic.

Ben Davis on Phillip Guston Show Postponement

Baltimore Museum Deaccessioning, two opposing views.

Three Tech Companies Locked in a Battle to Capture Your Attention With the World’s Best Immersive Van Gogh Experience. Brian Boucher, Artnet

The Boundless Optimism of BTS, Esquire

Explain Me with Andy Adams of FlakPhoto: From Idyllic Photos to The Surveillance State

Explain Me with Andy Adams of FlakPhoto: From Idyllic Photos to The Surveillance State

November 2, 2020

Image via: Andy Adams instagram

In this episode of Explain Me we talk to Andy Adams (FlakPhoto on instagram), a culture producer and long time digital director. Andy is the founder of FlakPhoto Projects, an international community of photographers that operates in a parallel path to the one Powhida and Johnson come from—the New York based studio and museum world. Andy, William, and Paddy began working online around the same time—2003-2005, so we start our conversation there. We track through the exuberance and possibility we saw online in the early aughts, the economic collapse of the late aughts, and fraught political environment we’re now navigating. Subjects include: The signature Flak Photo style, the ethics of documentary photography, and the the postponed Guston show at the Tate.

 

References and reading:

Instagram: @photographersvote #photographersvote

Two Museums Tried to Sell Art. Only One Caught Grief About it. New York Times

Guston Can Wait. Nikki Columbus, N+1

Contra-Internet, Zach Blas, e-flux Journal

 

Zombie Figuration Isn’t a Thing: A Critical Autopsy with Antwaun Sargent

Zombie Figuration Isn’t a Thing: A Critical Autopsy with Antwaun Sargent

August 4, 2020

 

In this episode of Explain Me, critic and curator Antwaun Sargent joins us to discuss the effects of the pandemic and Alex Greenberger's Zombie Figuration, a confusing essay that appeared earlier this month in ARTnews. In the first half hour we discuss the disparate effects of the pandemic and general politics. Then we move on to art, zombies,  race,  and why art has limits

 

BIOGRAPHY

Antwaun Sargent is an art critic and a writer who has contributed to The New York Times, The New Yorker, Vice and more, as well as essays to multiple museum publications. His first book, “The New Black Vanguard: Photography between Art and Fashion” (Aperture) is out now. In April he announced a new partnership with Gagosian that will include working on four exhibitions and contributing features to their magazine.  Follow him on Twitter and Instagram

 

LISTENER ADVISORY: In this episode, Paddy Johnson occasionally repeats Antwaun Sargent's words when his audio cuts out. This leads to periodic moments when Johnson and Sargent speak at the same time. 

 

LINKS

EARLY WHITNEY BIENNIAL REVIEWS 

 

Find us on Spotify, Stitcher, and Apple Podcasts

 

Institutional failure, Trump’s Agenda, and Meme-Driven Conservative Movements: A Talk with Nayland Blake

Institutional failure, Trump’s Agenda, and Meme-Driven Conservative Movements: A Talk with Nayland Blake

June 29, 2020

Boogaloo Boys show off posters supporting Trump at a demonstration

Artist Nayland Blake joins the podcast to discuss the murder of George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer, mass protests, and the resurgence of COVID as the backdrop for public art and how museums are addressing diversity.  Spearheaded in large part by Blake, we discuss all of these issues  through the lens of what people need and how art makers, art workers and arts institutions answer that need. 

We started the conversation with Blake's recent twitter thread on art criticism. 

"Art criticism is the activity of thinking with and through art objects," they wrote. "If you constantly reach for the same few objects to think with, you stagnate as a critic and simply reinforce your own bias." 

Other relevant links mentioned in the show: 

 

Support Explain Me by becoming a member on Patreon

Revolution for the Family: Heather Bhandari and Nikki Columbus on Pandemic Parenting, art, and Activism

Revolution for the Family: Heather Bhandari and Nikki Columbus on Pandemic Parenting, art, and Activism

May 19, 2020

Abrons Art Center

This week on Explain Me, co-hosts William Powhida and Paddy Johnson talk to arts organizers and activists Heather Bhandari and Nikki Columbus about the challenges for mothers during the pandemic, and the challenges for arts workers seeking to make changes to a system that no longer works for them. 

Of the family-focused topics discussed we take on pandemic screen time for kids (Bhandari describes DinoTrux as terrible for kids, but a necessary evil), what to do if your toddler licks a bodega door, and disrupted schedules that make it impossible to find or look for work and require long and often unusual hours. 

On the subject of organizing we discuss several projects spearheaded by Bhandari and Columbus respectively designed to pave actionable paths for artists. 

Finally we discuss Frieze New York, and contrast their dubious charity efforts during the fair to the more collective NADA art fair model that works towards a sustainable model for everyone. Show links below. 

The Art World Conference 

Forward Union 

Art/Work, Heather Bhandari and Jonathan Melber 

N+1, Free Your Mind, by Claire Bishop and Nikki Columbus

Art+Work+Place, Emergency Session I, Veralist Center

Art+Work+Place, Emergency Session II, Veralist Center

Museum transparency Newsletter (Read about all the layoffs and other bad news that’s happening in the museum world right now—of which there is a ton.)

The Model Model: Ethical Actions by Arts Organizations in the time of COVID-19 (Read about the good news and exemplary work by arts organizations.) 

Obama Commencement Speech

#graduatetogether2020 (twitter hashtag) 

Frieze Art Fair (May 8-15th) 

NADA Fair (May 20-June 21)

From L.A. With Love: Thoughts on Online Viewing Rooms, Museum Layoffs, and More with Carolina Miranda and Michael Shaw

From L.A. With Love: Thoughts on Online Viewing Rooms, Museum Layoffs, and More with Carolina Miranda and Michael Shaw

April 20, 2020

Steve Locke Student 338, 2016 Hydrocal, galvanized steel nails, procion dye, shellac approximately 12x4.5x5.5" $4,000

Image: Steve Locke, "Student 338", 2016, Hydrocal, galvanized steel nails, procion dye, shellac approximately 12x4.5x5.5" $4,000

This week on Explain Me, William Powhida and Paddy Johnson speak with artist Michael Shaw and L.A. staff writer Carolina Miranda how quarantining is affecting artists, galleries and journalists on the West Coast. Shaw talks about the prospect of losing his studio of nine years, The L.A. Tenants Union and landlords who are neither friendly nor flexible. Miranda speaks about cuts at the L.A. Times and the surrounding museums, as well as her latest story on how corona is impacting commercial galleries. 

We take a virtual visit to the Dallas Art Fair together, and talk about the art we've enjoyed recently. All links below.

NEWS

Marciano Collection Announces it won't reopen in wake of layoffs following union drive. — L.A. Times

MOCA lays off all 97 part time employees — L.A. Times

Uovo lays off pro union organizers while others are paid to stay at home —The Art Newspaper

How Arts Non-profits are responding to COVID - Hyperallergic

LACMA began demolition: But that hasn't stopped a protest group for an alternate plan—L.A. Times

Painful closures lie ahead for L.A. galleries. How 35 are bracing for the worst. — L.A. Times

ART

The Dallas Art Fair 

Mark Amerika's Grammatron

Wellnow.wtf

Scott Mendes—Darren Bader's VR app (still not released)

El Greco Audio Tour—Art Institute of Chicago. 

This is Chance—99% Invisible

Sheep video review — The New York Times

The Weirdly Enduring Appeal of Weird Al Yankovic — The New York Times

Magda Sawon's Twitter 

SUBSCRIBE

Explain Me Patreon 

The Conversation Patreon

The L.A. Times

Hyperallergic membership

Explain Me with Jonathan Schwartz of Atelier4 and Magda Sawon of Postmasters

Explain Me with Jonathan Schwartz of Atelier4 and Magda Sawon of Postmasters

March 29, 2020

Serkan Özkaya's notorious Proletarier Aller Länder (Workers of the World) 1999. Image via: Postmaster's Gallery

Serkan Özkaya's Proletarier Aller Länder (Workers of the World) 1999, Image via Postmaster's Gallery.

In this episode of Explain Me, hosts Paddy Johnson and William Powhida talk to Magda Sawon of Postmasters Gallery in New York, and Jonathan Schwartz, the CEO and founder of Atelier4, an arts logistics company based out of New York. The discussion includes stories and conversations you won’t find anywhere else. 

Schwartz reports that at least one logistics company is currently breaking the law to ship art, and that Fedex trucks are in short supply because they’re being used to transport the dead. 

Magda describes the challenges for galleries which range from financial burdens to the need to better consider the online art environment. 

William and Paddy discuss the financial precarity of artists, writers, and educators. 

As a group we talk about what needs to be done to respond to the crisis and what is being done. We also make the mini announcement that we will be launching a Patreon for Explain Me in the next week or two. More details on that soon!

We’re looking at a radical shift in opportunity, so this conversation includes a fair amount of debate. We’re also doing it over zoom, with William on the phone due to an internet connectivity issue. This isn’t the best recording quality we’ve ever produced, but it might be the most important episode. Please tune in.  

COMING UP: Resources for freelancers and art organizations. What relief is available and how long it will take to get to the people who need it.

Explain Me: We’re Baaaaaack!

Explain Me: We’re Baaaaaack!

March 10, 2020

Spring Break. Image: Paddy Johnson 

 

Welcome back to Explain Me! In an effort to produce content a little more regularly we're trying something new: no editing. This means a little more baseless speculation, and off the cuff commentary, in return for actual podcasts! Yes! In this episode we discuss news, art, and trends seen at The Armory, Spring Break and The Independent. Highlights include: The Armory

  • News! They're moving to the Javits Center! Speculation about what that means.
  • Adrian Wong with animal spiritual guide Lynn Schuster at Carrie Secrist Gallery
  • Austin Lee at Jeffrey Dietch
  • Kumasi J. Barnett at Ryan Lowell Projects
  • Dominic Chambers at Anna Zorina Gallery
  • Matt Bolinger at Zurcher 
  • Hannah Wilke and Cassils at Feldman Gallery

Spring Break

  • Gallery Cubed's Nathan Sinai Rayman
  • Emily McElreath and Evan Pepper's show of work by Jeila Gueramian
  • Chambliss Giobbi’s A Room with a View
  • Carlos Rosales-Silva

The Independent

  • Galerie Jocelyn Wolff's Miriam Cahn
  • Various Small Fires's Jessie Homer French
  • Andrew Edlin Gallery
  • Colored pencil and pastels
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