Playlists

Earth First is a playlist featuring artists who engage with environmental concerns to uncover opportunities to see the world through a new lens. From tracking natural phenomena to evaluating the impact of personal consumption, these artists position their work as jumping off points to reflect on our entanglement in these networks and society at large.

Earth First

“Art doesn’t stop where the real world starts,” affirms Olafur Eliasson. Artists in many ways embrace a role as purveyors of knowledge, creating works that challenge viewers to recognize, investigate, and appreciate their surroundings. While individuals enjoy the convenience of modernity, how often do they take into account the grey energy behind its production? Rackstraw Downes paints landscapes marked by human-made structures such as cell phone towers or electric wires—details that otherwise go unnoticed, consciously or not—and considers his job as an artist to “provoke this hypocrisy” of enjoying technological advancements without accepting their environmental ramifications.

In this playlist, artists engage with environmental concerns to uncover opportunities to see the world through a new lens. From tracking natural phenomena to evaluating the impact of personal consumption, these artists position their work as jumping off points to reflect on our entanglement in these networks and society at large.

by Art21

April 22, 2019

12 videos • 1:25:34 total runtime

From blow torches to tattoo guns and video cameras to digital renderings, artists employ a variety of power tools to bring their creative visions to life. This playlist is a celebration of technique and vision, exploring the diverse tool sets from which artists create.

Tools of the Trade

From blow torches to tattoo guns and video cameras to digital renderings, artists employ a variety of power tools to bring their creative visions to life. Cao Fei developed her urban utopia, RMB City, within the vast virtual world of “Second Life”—creating a space to be shaped and governed by the avatars of its citizens. In contrast, Diana Al-Hadid’s giant sculptural works “get you to pay attention to interiors and exteriors” by layering steel, bronze, and fiberglass.

Tools are the conduit of creation—from concept to canvas. “The more intimate you are with your tools, the more you can tell your story,” advises media artist Beryl Korot. For some artists, employing new tools presents fresh opportunities for  artistic freedom expressed in a new medium. Known for her sculptural installations featuring life-like replicas of body parts, Doreen Garner introduced tattooing into her practice, providing a new perspective on the human form. This playlist is a celebration of technique and vision, exploring the diverse tool sets from which artists create.

by Art21

March 14, 2019

12 videos • 1:30:02 total runtime

Jack Whitten’s “Black Monoliths”paintings embodied the artist’s way of memorializing figures who have impacted him as an artist and citizen. As institutions make efforts to showcase more artists of color, previously hidden figures are emerging throughout museum galleries, academic curriculum, and media platforms to better reflect the contemporary conversations of a multicultural community.

Essence of a History

Jack Whitten’s “Black Monoliths” paintings embodied the artist’s way of memorializing figures who have impacted him as an artist and citizen. “I have to locate the essence of that person,” said Whitten. “That person becomes a symbol and I build that into the paint.” As institutions make efforts to showcase more artists of color, previously hidden figures are emerging throughout museum galleries, academic curriculum, and media platforms to better reflect the contemporary conversations of a multicultural community.

“What if there’s another way of considering history?” questions Stan Douglas. For Black History Month, this playlist features artists who monumentalize everyday heroes and icons alike, both embracing Black histories, while not being defined by them. From Chicago to Johannesburg, artists continue to shape a new narrative of the Black experience. For Rashid Johnson, it’s inevitable that the issues around “my Blackness have a strong effect on how my work is born,” but it doesn’t define it; his approach is rooted in “a bigger history of art.”

by Art21

February 14, 2019

15 videos • 1:40:44 total runtime

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