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Miranda July wants to e-mail you

Miranda July
Miranda July

Artist/filmmaker/performer Miranda July is beginning a new e-mail project — and she could come to your inbox! Not only July, but her friends and accomplices. She’s enlisted as collaborators Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Lena Dunham, Kirsten Dunst, Sheila Heti, Etgar Keret, Kate and Laura Mulleavy, Catherine Opie, Lee Smolin, and Danh Vo.

July will be sending out private e-mails around a theme:

There is something about the mundane-ness that feels very intimate to me. I thought I would do that idea on a grand scale. At first I thought I’d do it with my friends but then I realized no one would care about them as much as I did. So I chose some of my more famous friends, or famous people that weren’t friends. I came up with 10 topics and they had to scavenge through their inboxes for an email that fit each topic.

To sign up for the e-mails, go here. The first theme is money.

Filling Empty Bowls

Sam Peck and Iris
Sam Peck and Iris

What’s not to love about Empty Bowls? It’s a fundraiser that helps feed people in need — and your donation comes with a good meal of soup plus a homemade bowl as a memento. There was an incarnation of the fundraiser at Jackson Middle School in Greensboro tonight.

My friend, artist Sam Peck, worked with students to produce colorful pinch bowls to serve as mementos of the meal. Iris picked a heart-shaped bowl. I got a more traditional striped number. All the bowls were produced by Jackson sixth-graders and the money went to benefit Second Harvest.

Welcome to Jackson Middle School!
Welcome to Jackson Middle School!


Table full of pinch pottery bowls
Table full of pinch pottery bowls


NEA grants for the Mint Museum and public design in NC

Despite the sequester and the automatic 5% Federal budget reduction, the National Endowment for the Arts has announced $26.3 million in grants. North Carolina has two projects, including:

… Raleigh won a $40,000 grant for Structures for Inclusion 14, a national conference on public service architecture and community design , and Charlotte got $40,000 for the Mint Museum of Art Inc. for documentation and digitization of the museum’s collection.  [Miami Herald]

On staying put

Photo and reclaimed license plate by Jamie Dorobek
Photo and reclaimed license plate by Jamie Dorobek

The other day was the panel discussion at Green Hill where old-time New York art worlders advised young artists to come to New York (or at least a major art center). The advice was mixed about how long to stay or where specifically to go. But the message from everyone was that you need to spend time in the center.

Paddy at ArtFCity has the opposite advice: Don’t go to New York.

Her reasoning is financial as well as about 21st-Century connectedness. With real estate in the city so prohibitively expensive and the technology to share across geographies, artists don’t have to live on Rivington to show images to an LES gallery. As proof, she says the most exciting shows she’s seen in NYC have been by artists living outside the city.

In talking about MICA students staying put in Baltimore, she hits something very true and of the moment in its thinking: that art can be made anywhere and communities of artists are all over the place. Our brains are becoming less hierarchical because reality seems less hierarchical. The art world, which used to be a clear structure supported by New York, now seems more rhizomatic and diffuse with nodes in many places. Not only do you not have to be in NYC to make interesting art, you don’t have to be in NYC to make interesting art that makes it in NYC.

But that returns us to the next question: do you have to be in NYC — or have a relationship to NYC — to make a living doing very contemporary work? Because in this way art and life can be very separate.

What’s on your radar?

Applying for grants? Interested in what’s happening around you? Check out Creative Capital’s On Our Radar:

… a searchable database featuring nearly 400 projects that advanced to the second or third round in last ye4ar’s highly competitive Film/Video and Visual Arts grant round. Although these projects were not ultimately funded, we feel they are projects to watch, and we invite you to explore them. This site will be online until August 31, 2012.

Beginning something new

Well, here it goes. It’s been 10 years since I started a blog called Daily Gusto with my wife Jennifer. It was 2003 — the stone age of blogging. Don’t bother looking for the site. It’s been erased and washed away, along with a lot of great old internet content (, anyone?).

It began as an online magazine about anything I wanted to talk about — from food to New York City to art. I was working as an online journalist inspired in 2000 by Frontline’s revolutionary way of telling stories for a digital age. My site lasted for over 6 years and got hundreds of thousands of clicks as I tried to figure out what I was doing in New York City and what to do with an exciting new medium.

In the end, I left my career as a journalist in order to dedicate my life to making art and writing about it. I have a portfolio site, but I have been wanting more lately. Now, several years after erasing the long-tailed whirligig of Daily Gusto, I am ready to start writing online in a regular way. I want Harrylandia to evolve as a way for me to reflect on my studio practice as well as the art around me in North Carolina.

I’d like for this site to provoke some dialogue and be a way for artists to meet and ask questions. Let’s make it happen. Yeah, I’m talking to you.