Hand-made Soul: For his intro to the book Sensacional, a survey of hand-painted signs in Mexico, David Byrne wrote of the “soul” of “bad” design and how, through technology, “‘good’ design became so easy even your software could do it!” Now from the same publisher comes another view of hand-made soul: a book on the album-cover art and fantasy career of a soul sensation who went by the name Mingering Mike. Three years ago a record collector at a Washington, D.C., thrift store unearthed several crates filled with what looked like LPs, but upon closer inspection were revealed to be cardboard disks with grooves drawn on them. The cover art was hand-drawn, and some of the covers came with promotional stickers or shrink-wrap. They all promoted the nonexistent singing career of Mingering Mike and other fictional musicians: one had a blurb by James Brown, another was a tribute to Bruce Lee, and a third was a benefit album for sickle-cell anemia research. The albums’ creator, who prefers not to be named, created more than 100 faux LPs and wrote hundreds of songs. He never, however, recorded a single track.
Art attack: On Wednesday, a Pewaukee, Wis., man ripped a painting featuring the biblical figure David with Goliath’s severed head from the wall at the Milwaukee Art Museum, pounded it and put his foot through it. Enraged by the imagery of Ottavio Vannini’s The Triumph of David, the man punched a tennis-ball-sized hole in the piece with his foot before guards tried (and failed) to subdue him. Eventually, the 22-year old removed his shirt and laid down on his own will, and was “very calm and very polite” (according to MAM’s director). The work, dating to 1640, is said to be worth $300,000.
Nomadic Precedence: As part of its Nomadic Residents series, Rirkrit Tiravanija has the inaugural exhibition at the Ontario College of Art & Design gallery, and to kick it off, he gave an artist’s talk on Wednsday night. Carl Wilson was there and wrote of rumors that Tiravanija had bumped up against some institutional rules (fire codes, perhaps) in dealing with OCAD: “So what he did, as a few of us found out by slipping upstairs for a peek, was to wall up the entrance to the gallery […] with, I think, cinderblock bricks, and sealed with mortar. So no one can enter it. He said this was also a ‘time-based’ work, hinting broadly that it wouldn’t stay in the same condition over the coming months.”
If you go to San Francisco… Several of us — Brent, Nate, Justin, and Robin from New Media, along with Witt from Teen Programs and yours truly — will be attending the Museums and the Web conference in San Francisco April 11 through 14. Look us up if you’re going, and don’t miss New Media’s workshop “Beyond blogging: Is it a communty yet?” If you’re not, we’ll keep you posted on the Walker blogs.