Thursday, October 4, 2007

Northwestern Creates Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation

The McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science has established the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation to take engineering beyond the applications of the sciences to the creation of businesses that capitalize on innovations. The center will provide students and faculty with the skills to become successful entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs.

“Engineering is the application of the pure sciences,” says Julio Ottino, dean of the McCormick School. “Science often is incomplete, and engineering thinking has to fill the gaps. Innovation and entrepreneurship are techniques to deliver solutions to those who have a need for them.”

McCormick is retooling many of its existing programs with a greater focus on innovation and entrepreneurship. “Design think” -- a concept already widely embraced at McCormick -- will be greatly enhanced when students learn how they can grow existing businesses (intrapreneurship) or create new businesses (entrepreneurship).

One of the first initiatives coordinated by the center is a new academic partnership, NUvention, that will expand Northwestern's tradition of interdisciplinary study by developing new experimental courses that allow students to become entrepreneurs within a class setting. “Often would-be entrepreneurs lack the knowledge of business processes. This class will allow students to gain real experience without risks.”

Student involvement in entrepreneurship at Northwestern is high, as evidenced by a new student organization focused on entrepreneurship, InNUvation, and two popular events held last spring. “Applied Research Day,” supported by CEI, drew more than 40 students who shared their entrepreneurial research with fellow students, faculty, venture capitalists and industry. And NU Venture Challenge, a campus-wide business idea competition sponsored by McCormick alumnus Robert Shaw, attracted nearly 200 applicants.

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Complaints Choir is in need of your participation:
"detractors, muckrackers, grouches and all citizens of Chicago: this is your chance to unite and voice your concerns and complaints in a hilarious choir conducted by Jeremy Jacobsen"

Send your complaint and contact info by post or email:
snail mail:
Smog Veil Records
1658 N Milwaukee Ave # 284
Chicago, IL 60647

The Complaints Choir of Chicago rehearses 5 times in October, 2007 and performs at the Museum on Contemporary Art and throughout the City on November 3 and 4 of 2007.

Presented by Smog Veil Records, Fraction Workspace will be the home base for the international artists:
Tellervo Kalleinen (Finland) and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen (Germany)
Installation will be on view in the windows at Fraction, Oct 19th - Nov 16th, 2007
"From Trash to Treasure" Workshop & Treasure Hunt
Saturday, July 14, 1 to 4 PM at Intuit.

Intuit will hold a workshop in collaboration with the galleries that comprise the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Corridor (MAAC), which include Woman Made Gallery ( and ARC Gallery ( along with Intuit. Art educator Sarah Kaiser will show participants how to transform everyday items and found objects into inspired works of art. The workshop takes place Saturday, July 14, 1 to 4 PM at Intuit, 756 N. Milwaukee Ave.

To make reservations for one of the three, and FREE, hourly workshops e-mail Amanda Curtis, Education Coordinator at or call 312-243-9088. More information:

Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art
756 N. Milwaukee Avenue
Chicago, IL 60622

Monday, June 18, 2007

Hands-On workshops at MCA

reg price $34 members price $30.60

"At the Museum of Contemporary Art's 'Artists on Site' series, held every 1st Tuesday of the month, visitors have the chance to directly engage with artists creating work. 'Artists on Site' is part of a larger shift at the MCA in terms of public programs. Inspired by the phenomenal magazine Readymade, the MCA has re-shaped its offerings this year to feature programs that use everyday objects, de-mystify the creative process, wake up the latent creativity in all of us, and most of all are fun!"

"First Tuesday is an independent Business Think Tank encouraging and supporting the creation of knowledge where business intersects policy, technology and innovation. There are First Tuesday forums in 18 countries across five continents with over 41 000 active members worldwide. We are experts in creating dialogue, leveraging the power of different perspectives and experiences to develop new insights."

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Marc Pachter, director of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, on recent renovations: "You can choose your portal, you can mix and match as you want" (see Johanna Neuman, "A Museum with a Patented History," Los Angeles Times, 3 July 2005: E36; also Carol Kino, "Welcome to the Museum of My Stuff," The New York Times, 18 February 2007: 30).

In "‘An Archival Impulse" (October 110, Fall 2004), Hal Foster proposes an "archival art" (Tacita Dean, Sam Durant, Thomas Hirschhorn are his examples) as a form of post-canon ruin more oppositional than the database, one more "fragmentary...than fungible," too "recalcitrantly material" to be easily picked through. Foster’s contrast between the material conditions of the database and those of the archive can perhaps be set parallel to the conditions of contemporary social networking and those underlying what Bill Readings has called "dissensus," which he describes as a means of "dwelling in the ruins" – that is, of conducting social life and conversation in a post-national, post-cultural situation. Readings’s "dissensus" occurs in a ruins, not a matrix; its conduct follows the logic of opacity and obligation rather than advertisement and availability; and its participants are not subjects or identities but singularities, which are resistant, not available or "fungible," to network transactions, to the market demand of infinite exchangeability. (See Bill Readings, The University in Ruins, Cambridge, and London: Harvard University Press, 1996).
Sam Durant

Thursday, June 14, 2007

class highlights (weakly tied)

"I wonder if she plans on making strong ties with any of these individuals that she meets."

"You told me to write you a missed connection if I thought it was neat. I haven't heard anyone say neat since I was in kindergarten. So, that's pretty cool. Although you may be a psycho killer, who knows. Anyway, now you can email me and weird me out to your heart's content."

"The operator has to listen, it is a law. Also, the postman is not allowed to go inside your house, but you can talk to him on public property for up to four minutes or until he wants to go, whichever comes first."

"The inherently presupposed contractual agreements that support all forms of participation are nothing new. The plot thickens though when the metaphorical handshake between participants becomes even more tenuous, that is, when social contracts are mediated, like now more than ever before, by lines of code; when meaning and fact are free form and aimless—accountability leading back only as far as the history of your browser’s activity."

"Spam messages about free ringtones and gift cards are scattered between heartfelt messages to the dead soldiers."

"Digital correspondence is broken down into a stream of on and off switches that are entirely useless as a means of communication without reassembly."

"Hosting is both gracious and controlling."

"The Y in DIY would have to be relatively determined or technically skilled to DI."

"It is about customizing your own transportation the same way you'd customize your outfit, or put stickers on your laptop."

"Relics of resistance, not harbingers of revolution."

"The anarchical consumer talks back to corporations, doesn't obey. These are highly specialized consumers."

"The everyday paradoxically seems to function like the exotic."

"Their respective projects roughly read as, 'We did this, and it was art,' and follow from an understanding of Relational Aesthetics as an exaggeration of sensitivity to signification(s)."

also check out:

1. The appropriation of the rainbow colors of unselfconscious, innocent child's play to give anonymous public expression to the morose fears haunting young adulthood: dying young, STDs, mediocrity, drowning, falling, ending up...., becoming my mother.

2. A concise critique of knowledge-economy propaganda that portrays information as neutral and equates communication with community (or that romantically imagines how, in the words of a classmate, "an anonymous object, an errant missive, will create friendship").

Finally, congrats to the undergrads in the class for coming up with what are, on the average, far more complicated, thoughtful final projects than your graduate counterparts.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Relating & Facing Away, Mobility & Immobility, Exchangeable & Inexchangeable, Available & Unavailable, Variable & Invariable

Time Person of the Year; Rirkrit Tiravanija

Lorna Simpson, Guarded Conditions

Santiago Sierra, Hiring & Arrangement of 30 Workers in Relation to their Skin Color

New York Times 5/17/07: "On a hot evening this week in the Museum of Modern Art’s garden, Marie-Josée Kravis, the museum president, and her husband, Henry, played host to more than 900 guests who mingled near two giant Richard Serra sculptures. Part society gala, part networking session for the city’s business titans, the MoMA event might have appealed to Mr. Black. 'The essence of social life,' he said in an interview in 1989, 'is to make your contacts as interesting as they can be. Many people are intellectually stimulating. Some are not, but they happen to be important. So there is some utility in my knowing them.'”

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Contracts & Assembled Variables, RA's inheritance from Conceptualism

Chris Beas, USSR Sound System, 2007 (dimensions variable); Carl Andre, Equivalents, 1966

New York Times 5/25/07: "Rental, the latest addition to the expanding Lower East Side gallery scene, is the first one to have the light and views — if not the interior design — of a Chelsea space, thanks to its location on the sixth floor of a corner building with big windows. But that is not its distinguishing characteristic: true to its name, and like its predecessor in Los Angeles, Rental is for rent to selected out-of-town dealers. The first Rental was founded in 2005 by Daniel Hug and Joel Mesler; the New York version has been set up by Mr. Mesler. This could unsettle the gallery scene’s home-away balance of power in interesting ways. Dealers who give artists their first shows elsewhere will not necessarily have to hand them over to New York galleries to obtain exposure here. They can do the work, walk the walk and talk the spiel themselves. The next show, opening June 23, will be organized by Trudi, who runs a tiny space in Los Angeles. This fall brings the Cologne dealer Christian Nagel, followed by Sister Gallery and the Black Dragon Society from Los Angeles and Raster Gallery from Warsaw."

Far from functioning only as ideology critique, [such work] aim[s] to construct a less ideological form of autonomy, conditioned not by the abstraction of relations of consumption in the commodity form, but by the conscious & critical determination [...] of the uses to which artistic activity is put & the interests it serves. And it's in this sense that the substitution of literally heteronomous service relations for ideologically autonomous relations of commodity production & consumption can be seen not as the final erosion of the traditionally separate sphere of art but as the first step in an effort to move beyond the perpetual replay of the dialectic of negation & institutionalization which the critique of ideological use is consigned to so long as the artistic positions artists take are considered in isolation from the social & material conditions of their practices.

Andrea Fraser, "What's Intangible, Transitory, Immediate, Participatory and Rendered in the Public Sphere? Part II," Museum Highlights: The Writings of Andrea Fraser (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2005), 55-80

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Rirkrit Tiravanija's Untitled & Google's New York offices

The Art World Is Flat: Globalism & Opportunity Symposium, Chicago April 26-28

As a perfect complement to its glamorizing of neoliberal entrepreneurialism, the art world today relentlessly promotes the figure of the "nomad," which is nothing but an exoticized globalist version of the 19th-century Old West pioneer, and of the missionary and explorer before that, all of whom were thought to transform the landscape in worthwhile ways, unlike the natives who supposedly produce nothing of value.

from Seth Mydans, "Stateless, With Borders All Around," New York Times (8 April 2007): "Hidden in the back corners of Southeast Asia is a scattered population of millions of nobodies, citizens of nowhere, forgotten or neglected by governments. Many of these stateless people are among the world’s poorest; all are the most disenfranchised. Without citizenship, they often have no right to schooling, health care or property ownership. Nor may they vote or travel outside their countries — even, in some cases, outside the towns where they live. They are stateless for many reasons — migration, refugee flight, racial or ethnic exclusion, the quirks of history — but taken together, these noncitizens, according to one report, 'are among the most vulnerable segments of humanity.' They have few avenues for redressing abuses, and little access to resources that could help them build better lives. They have few advocates, because human rights groups tend to focus on the types of abuses they suffer — trafficking, exploitation, discrimination — rather than the root of those conditions, their statelessness."

Sunday, April 8, 2007

It is remarkable how many pictures we have ... of informal and spontaneous sociability, of breakfasts, picnics, promenades, boating trips, holidays and vacation travel. These urban idylls ... presuppose the cultivation of these pleasures as the highest field of freedom for an enlightened bourgeois detached from the official beliefs of his class. In enjoying realistic pictures of his surroundings as a spectacle of traffic and changing atmospheres, the cultivated rentier was experiencing in its phenomenal aspects that mobility of the environment, the market and of industry to which he owes his income and his freedom. ... As the contexts of bourgeois sociability shifted from community, family and church to commercialized or privately improvised forms — the streets, the cafés and resorts — the resulting consciousness of individual freedom involved more and more an estrangement from older ties; and those imaginative members of the middle class who accepted the norms of freedom, but lacked the economic means to attain them, were spiritually torn by a sense of helpless isolation in an anonymous indifferent mass.

Meyer Schapiro on Impressionism, from "The Nature of Abstract Art" (orig. 1937), reprinted in Modern Art: 19th and 20th Centuries (New York, NY: George Braziller, 1979), 193.

Monday, April 2, 2007

DIY: The Entrepreneurial Spirit
A Business of Art Conference

April 13 - 14, 2007
Columbia College

This 2-day conference will provide you with the skills necessary to create and develop your artistic practice in the "Do-it- Yourself" spirit.

Join us on Friday, April 13 at 6 p.m. for a panel discussion focusing on strategies for successful careers with Adam Brooks and Mathew Wilson of the Industry of the Ordinary, Two Girls Working (collaborative duo from NY), and moderator Melissa Potter, College Art Association Career Development Associate

On Saturday, April 14, 12-5pm:
Come prepared to learn the ins-and-outs of developing a sustainable art practice during the day-long workshops

Preparing "Creatives" for Entrepreneurial Ventures-with Joseph Roberts & Genevieve Thiers, Columbia College
Grant Writing - with Melissa Potter, College Art Association
Financial Planning - with Michele Conti, Financial Advisor, Chicago Artists' Coalition
Creating a Business Plan - with Chris Smith Evans, Artist and Instructor of Entrepreneurship, Chicago Artists' Coalition
Portfolio Creation - with Dirk Matthews, Portfolio Center, Columbia College

This conference is a collaboration among the Chicago Artists' Coalition, Columbia College, and the College Art Association.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Northwestern Ecstasy

at Fraction Workspace, 1711 N. Honore, Chicago