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The Blanton: blink and you’ll miss it.

A notice to Austinites: Check the Blanton's website. Check it often.
Check it compulsively. If you don't, you'll miss out on some amazing
things. I have two examples from this past Sunday:

1. Along with five fellow Austin Video Bees, I attended a highly
unpublicized panel discussion (held at an obscure location for an art
event, the Applied Computational Engineering and Sciences Building)
entitled "Mirror, Mirror: Self-Invention in a Televisual World " with
David Joselit and Maud Lavin moderated by Blanton curator Annette
. The topics were supposed to be reality TV, Internet
chatrooms, midlife transitions, and other aspects of the American
social landscape. Neither reality TV nor Internet chatrooms were
discussed, which I know was a bit of a dissappointment to some of my
fellow Video Bees. It was still a fascinating discussion. Both Joselit
and Lavin are brilliant and had some severely insightful things to say
about Michael Smith's show (you can read what I thought of it in the next isse of Artlies!) and about the current social and cultural
climate. A lot of the discussion ended up orbiting the topic of "cute,"
an interest of Lavin's. She seemed an odd choice for the panel as her
work mostly deals with graphic design and visual studies. She also
didn't really like Smith's work too much. But by the end of the chat it
seemed as if she had gained a deeper understanding and appreciation of
it by talking about it and listening to what the audience had to say.
I'll admit I have an art historian crush on Joselit. I highly recommend his latest book "Feedback: Television Against Democracy." His research
overlaps with my own personal interests a lot. It was artgasm city,
and I was the mayor. I <3 panel lectures.
Jason Hackenwerth's balloon sculptures

2. After that, we took a leisurely stroll to the Blanton to check out Jason Hackenwerth's "ephemeral work of art" Surrounded By Angels,
a collection of aquatic-looking balloon creatures suspended form the
ceiling of the atrium. It was absolutely gorgeous. It must be
fascinating seeing Hackenwerth at work. The structural complexity of
these pieces is baffling. The way in which they were hung made them
move in an almost organic manner, which was quite a sight. They made the building look so alive! If you want to see them for yourself hurry up, they're deflating quickly. Soon they'll only be giant limp husks…

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