apexart Fellowship


Modris Svilans is an artist based in Riga, Latvia. He is in NYC as an apexart New York City Fellow from September 9 - October 9, 2014.

Damali Abrams is a NYC-based artist traveled to Seoul, South Korea, as an apexart International Fellow from July 1 - 30, 2014.

Posts tagged with "Adam Burthom"

metro-politick observations around the fastline

Security checked I entered the US where the border begins in Dublin airport. A redrawing of the political map of the world establishing a new frontier within another territory. The Atlantic journey of adventure just another domestic trip.
In flight floating people journey as one disconnected, united only by direction of travel - objects falling through space together alone obedient passive trajectory with screen magnets for the mind.

Taxi to the apartment and I get the story that this is the land of opportunity for a man with a family to feed and clothing to move when not at the wheel. Schwarzenneger is the quoted paragon of rags to riches, immigrant to pillar of society and I am a bit surprised by this coming from a hard working Ghanian (My thought was of James Brown’s rise from shoe-shine to superstar). First surprise of many. My ignorance is broad and long. We always look to an opposite pole.

Union Square Farmers Market. Fresh produce in the thick of the hustle, wooden money for food stamps, emerging economies of inter/in-dependence.
Two onions for 45c my best deal. Living parsley and basil on the cold and snow-pile littered streets. A woman closing in on mortality treated by paramedics and concerned passersby. Strangers’ compassion erasing difference and separation. Oxygen face mask and frosty breath on the hard street life of the elderly.

Julia shows me the ropes of the place and a rooftop view of Union Square. A great welcome to set me on the way.

Jetlagged and tranquilised nodded through the The Encyclopedia Of New York book launch, a ‘wealth’ of information, a massive and yet still selective chronicle of some of the histories of the City. And what of the unwritten… unremembered… unknown.

Street furniture seen only in movies now surrounds in a virtual movie of actuality. Ambulances, police cars, fire engines, taxis, street crossings, sounds of voices, accents, moods, advertising, prices in dollars, faces you feel you could have seen before, tube steel, red leatherette, chrome plated, plastic coated, ensembles of transportation, concentrations of people, all in constant motion.

The subway, jammed, crammed, hot, sweat, close and enclosed we are all navigating the catacombs of the Metropolis, underground graffiti, culture of the creative scrubbing of grime, personalise, territorialise, exteriorise/externalise, marking to signify.

Circle line

The subway riff - Obediently herded by by unseen voices of instruction people particles negotiate trajectories following signs, instincts and routines and to the left a stompimg country blues outfit of time-served keepers of the thrumming rhythm bass shifting the crowd along.

Circle line tour of the river shows the skyscraper views of the Manhattan Mountain range steel gold glass concrete copper gold turquoise black silver and shiny reaching and stamping marks of financial market returns. Liberty powdered blue static gesture in cold wind off the river surge. We hear of famous residents and the prices they paid for their pads in the sky with personal lifts from car to apartment no photos please. but we are click happy in the freezing cold shaking to catch the view random shots grids and blocks layering of architectural gestures constant sedimentation of successive power proclamations one upon another juxtaposition of historical moments of economic conquest and dominion.

On the Brooklyn side non-places now spaces await their return to becoming places once again. The narrator gives us the low down on affordable housing and the lack: Living competing with Economy for Life.

New York Public Library

Exhibition THR33 Faiths:

ancient and modern
illuminated texts form
Islamic, Jewish and Christian signs
calligraphic ornamented emblematic
gold leaf
natural pigments
common threads
horned Moses

no photos
use your eyes
use your mind

Broadway Through Times Square:

media blitz
heavy police presence
hawkers beggars and advertising
looking for your money

refuse the photo-op
no free ads in your album

externalised interior nature of corporate fantasy/mind
perfect image re-production
social sculpture for gains
profit and power and accumulation
moulding collective consciousness

Like flocks of sea birds
nesting in crevices
of neon cliffs
eating and excreting
money and goods
trading values and economies
beyond any reasonable limit
excess of production:

absorption into
dangerous material intelligence
virtual life suspends the natural law
at a price beyond conception

a green Latin leprechaun
face freezing stiff on ice-wind-blast street corner
ill fitting garb and a dejected aura
high class shoppers spend plastic wads
homeless shadows mill and scour

Grand Central Zone:
women in furs
men in rags
horned traffic
walk/don’t walk

ghosts apparitions shades souls
moving within
momentarily visible
stray flows
on singular missions
free radicals pick up
the small change
of an indifferent form of illusion
multiple dimensions shifting proximity
between and within

choosing to see… or not

register… or not

acknowledge… or not

residential jazz stroll up to the stone

spinning blur of musical threads

new york city rapid fire fed fluid sequences

highly orchestrated slalom skids

through street collage of street beats

fog-horn crescendos flood rivers of passion

serpentine dizziness captures en-trances

intoxicating rhythm of life on the level

Tony Malaby - Novela, Live @ the Stone January 22nd 2011

At the Skyscraper Museum near Battery Park there are proposals for the green integration of skyscrapers into the urban fabric of New York as high rise production platforms. Since the flight of global capital to markets elsewhere, the idea of various forms of productivity utilising existing structures has remerged. The exhibition charts the evolution of this form of industrial processing from the early vertical cotton mills of the eighteen hundreds through to the likes of the FIAT factory in Turin with it’s rooftop test track and utopian designs such as the cotton processing geodesic dome developed by Buckminster Fuller and his students. This is seen as a way of reinvigorating the vacant vertical spaces of New York, providing employment and income.

As a further note, check out www.planetaryone.com for some very interesting ideas about how the future city might be ‘designed’. It features ingenious and creative solutions as to how large concentrations of people could live in a more symbiotic relationship with the natural environment.

The only thing I would question is: What are these populations co-existing to serve through the functioning of the city? Is this re-design simply a mutation of the technology that is already engaged in the constant reproduction of the machine which entraps the human organism in the cycle of consumption? Will it be for the perpetuation of the hegemonic global capital system? Or is it possible to re-imagine these solutions as part of the progressive evolution of the human project of enlightenment? Can happiness be achieved through these means?

Took a trip up MomA PS1. Some works of note:

Phil Collins’ excellent ‘Free Fotolab’, 2009 in which the artist asked people to send him their undeveloped rolls of film which he would then process and send a set of prints back to the participants on condition that they surrender all rights to the images. The result is a 9 minute slide sequence of selected shots providing candid portraits and representations; out-takes of the unexpected and the personal. The photos are derived from broadly Eastern European locations and provide a fascinating, touching and unfamiliar yet strangely familiar collective impression of people caught on camera.

Hannah Wilke, ‘The Intra-Venus Tapes’, 1990-93. Hard going and compelling document of the last years of the artists life.

Gracielle Carnevale, ‘Encierro y Escape’ (Entrapment and Escape), 1968. Funny.

Shizuko Yokomizo, ‘Stranger 6’, 1999. The artist left notes to occupants of ground floor dwellings and apartments asking them if they wished to pose in their living rooms for ten minutes at an appointed hour, at some point during which time they would be photographed. This one of the resulting, simultaneously intimate and distant portraits.

Stephen Willats, ‘Cybernetic Still Life’ 2010, ‘The Multi-Channel Messenger’ 2008 and ‘The World As It Is And The World As It Should Be’ 2006. Diagram as artwork and social mapping device.

What is interesting and apparent when viewing works in the environment of PS1, is the uniform consistency and universal aesthetic of the scene of engagement with art, where the presentation of the work does not so much reveal the circumstances of the works creation but rather heightens consciousness of the circumstances of its display.

Art in the streets all photographed within 100 yards of PS1.

The Really, Really Free Market

no money changes hands
no direct swap
what you need
what you don’t

exit consumer world
an open invitation
enter a field
positive social relations

object transmissions
transcending stations
human interactions

a smile
a gift
a laugh
a line
a word
a lift

a self-helping hand

Judson Memorial Church, Washington Square - Really, Really Free Market
3pm -7pm last Sunday of every month

image: sculpture, Washington Square

chelsea art ghetto promenade

"is a memorial allowed to be cosy?"*

through snow trenches we are shuffling
recognising the types
why else would we be here in this run down place?
body shop bricks car parking dirty bridges
we are on the fringes we enter our fridges
tombs to creativity morgue for dead art
awaiting final resting places on walls of stellar pads
the latest talent will hang
by fur coats in halls art trophy from the hunt
negotiated for a snip “did you see anything good?”
pass the word who’s fair game? pack animals emerge
from luxury lairs scout for a move
and pounce
in white cube concrete aesthetic terrain
fashion art home decor-plan/lifestyle choice
trash to treasure swipe that card
strike that pose convey that serious aura
the knowing nod nothing happening here today
gallery makeover for the next new thing

distance between box and street only a pane of security glass
preventing grime getting in
hermetic sealed air leaking
torn dayglo posters patch broken brown shutters
small herds of strutting creatures tawny and crisp
alert sedated eyeing seeking
calculating following
we are one
we are artworld

a few gems I have to admit
my caution my aversion my neck hairs prickling
(brooklyn radar…? chelsea radar here!)

*stolen line from show at Anton Kern Gallery


1. dustbin at Anton Kern Gallery
2. work on show at Cueto Projects
3. gallery poster & art outside ZieherSmith
4. floor of Paula Cooper (I think)
5. lobby of Kim Foster

Feb 2

Shim Sham @ The Kitchen

Roxanne ‘Butterfly’ eyes wide open and spellbinding feet
tip tap click clack she’s stampin’ and hoofin’
sounding the origins of the broadway boogie beat
coded history in staccato rhythms
telling motion and emotion
keeping alive the story of the street

each has their own hard won step up to the stage
high speedin’ slow slidin’ scrapin’ sweepin’ and drawin’
rippin’ heart and soul
writing in sound

a foot flying archive
shoe shine boy roots
a living oracle to pass on down
a youthful future to carry
generations unite in the shim sham shimmy

the foot stomping congregation
blown away by the revelation
Jazz sews the threads
of a true multi-culture

the transaction is love

the story is told

Shim Sham at The Kitchen 29th January
Feb 5


artists & fleas

An indoor market with stalls selling artist, designer, vintage and vintage inspired jewelry, clothing, artifacts, antiques and collectibles.
Open every weekend in Williamsburg

images: Fredy Churoncalla and jewelry
‘Rad TV’, Leeds Electric
Vintage stall detail
Feb 5


SHARE audio/visual jam @ ISSUE project room

ongoing assemblage of vital elements in progress
checking setting up everything operating

small random group
participants emerging
distant points in space slowly converging
in time and technology
foot-pedals arrayed
channels tested
computers booted
hot blasted cool heated
organically growing atmosphere
electronic distortion voice articulation
sea of frequency aqueous undulating rhythm
dolphin signals deep pressure tank immersion
sub-sonic congregation flows in waves
soft psychic rock formation punctuating ether
meeting of minds expressed combined
sound emulsions surface in a new light

Feb 7


An hour to hang in the corridors of justice

Halls scattered with small ethnic groups talking different languages. Intense discussions, negotiations, calculations, speculations. Lawyers lurk making notes, planning tactics with clients in descending elevators. Game-plans echoing, reverberate at low pitch in over-engineered 1930’s opulence; heavy brass, rich wood, smooth marble, in slow methodical curves and long straight runs. Airport style security installations intrude on the architecture, scratched glass dull aluminium, black rubber radar screening, conveyor belts empty contents of pockets confiscating digital devices.

Waiting for the part, waiting for the room, the whiteboard says misdemeanour the charge.
The little kiosk selling coffee and snacks in the foyer stocks a multitude of colourful painkillers and sedatives in plain evidence of the stress. Quick fix measures to get through the day, numb the anxiety, stop the flu cough, keep on top, ease the strain. I purchase a cup of coffee and on closer inspection of the disposable paper cup I am shocked by the subtle irony of the printed graphic: “Walter B. Laws’ Law Coffee”, wait for it… “Java For Your Journey”(!) Is that in or out? One lump or two? Black or white?

"EXCUSE ME!", "Yes sir?".

Silence returns to chatter. School yard for hard knock days revisited. A man in ragged jeans is traipsing the corridors clutching a tough leather belt looped in his large rough hand, vaguely threatening, oblivious, he passes us all by paying heed to no one. This place is almost verging on an asylum. People here suffering from their station, from their disadvantage, their social background (Theirs? or ours? and who are they? and who are we?). Surely personal pain may never be healed by incarceration? Maybe this is all just in this one hall? Maybe there are other halls with different types of offenders where the scene is less ruined and the people get off easier?

The EXIT sign says “Run, run… run to the light”. The doorway beckons “Run to the light… but, forever run. On the run. Forever light. See the light. SEE, the light”.

Image: restroom gaffiti, ‘Harlem One’

Bronx Stroll On &
A Jazz Education

An evening walking the streets of the Bronx. High rise apartment blocks, community gardens, shops, delis, under the bridge industrial landscape. There is a smell of petroleum hanging and clinging in the throat, and the toxic perfumed vapours of laundry detergent that permeate the air, wafted by the constant roaring rush of traffic down the Concourse. Medical centres on every street corner built in to housing complexes signal high population density, low incomes and a polluted environment? The winter evening darkness, racing car-tyres slashing slush, piles of blackened snow and ice-entombed garbage accentuate the scene; I imagine spring is more pleasant with children playing in blossoming parks watched over by older generations and a beautiful sun.

Overriding impression today is of being the only white stranger among the many sidewalk inhabitants and commuters. Different languages at every turn, Cuban flags, car body shops, Chinese food, Halal shop live animals wander inside neon glare.

The young woman at the College tells me “Folk from Manhattan don’t come here much…”, I guess they don’t like traveling abroad, so near yet so far, a city divided.

I moved on down to Harlem later and had coffee in a small deli bar that has pictures of Che, Mandela and other advocates of freedom framed on the walls while water hot dripping leak spatters from the ceiling, “Yeah, we have to get that fixed”.

At the Harlem Jazz Museum we are treated to an up close and intimate performance by Jonathon Baptiste and his band opening up the audience with a hand clapping chorus of chants to “FREE - YOUR - MIND, FREE YOUR MIND, EV’RYBODY!” We are IN the groove. Segued numbers subtle transitions leading through phases, paces and moods. Youth now carrying the past into tomorrow making it their own. Strong talents, strong voices address issues of today urban gospel salvation for the metropolitan faithful. Wandering in and out of abstraction, to outer space and back again, breaking down the sound; rhythm section holding the groove down, brass harmony and piano melody in confident improvisation, playing one off one another adding style and colour, leading the assembled through patterns of sound. It was an education and a pleasure for us all to have learned so much about jazz and how to listen, follow, understand… the classical music of New York.

Images: Jonathon Baptiste and his Band @ The Harlem Jazz Museum 02/02/11

Excerpts from Washington DC

Overheard telephone conversations on the street:

“He treated me like one of his students.”

“I can’t really get along with her.”

Office politics and backroom consultations full volume confidential conducted at brisk walking pace on the way to the next public display of perfect manners and restraint

Meanwhile at the National Mall try to guess which of the joggers passing through the manicured scene are military or security, who are executive, diplomatic, secretarial. Atheletic administration in hardcourt prep for upcoming face offs

On a triangle of astro-turf sprouting between avenues, specimen canines and their well groomed owners socialise and pick-up-after in their collective taking of the air sporting around their railing enclosure golf course aesthetic polite collective hygene keeps sidewalks clean


Knowledge is POWER! ‘educational’ slogan, DC

Vietnam War Memorial:

Carved out of the land in triangular cut, following downward gradient flat polished black marble panels begin slightly the slow descent, one chiseled name becomes two, becomes three, five, eight, thirteen, twenty-one, thirty-four in exponential growth hundreds, thousands and still increasing. The black marble extends down further into the earth until soon countless columns of names reach over head height and we are down in the ground with the dead, grappling with an incalculable multitude of the fallen. Dizzy with dread looking ahead at the too slowly rising incline longing to escape, footsteps, confusion weary, slowly strain for emergence from an insufficient realisation of the scale of unimaginable suffering and loss. Dull shock affected and gasping for some air of understanding as deceased numbers decrease, one is left with bitter sensations and difficult questions of what has been done with the sacrifice of these so many gone souls?

And what of the opposing dead? What of the civilian men, women and children? Can we quantify the measure of the wake of human anguish and grief?

Small groups of visitors photograph names of lost kin; paper roses, stars and stripes, silent in the symbol of sufferings we may hope never even to imagine.

Squirrels scour and flip dry leaves and Washington memorial pierces the sky.

Images: Peace Vigil @ The Whitehouse

Washington Memorial