Ken and Angela visited a bunch of pieces at the Harvard Art Museums, more commonly known as ‘The Fogg’,which was established in 1895.
The museum includes rooms known as the Fogg, the Busch-Reisinger, and the Sackler. I counted 9 different exhibits across 3 floors.
Part of the Art In Public Spaces exhibit is 258 Fake by Ai Weiwei. It was made in 2011 and consists of 12 monitors, shaped like cell phones, that show a total of 7,677 photos. The photos come from Weiei’s blog, which was taken down by the Chinese government in 2009.
Curve X, by Ellsworth Kelly, is from 1974. It’s part of the museum’s Modern and Contemporary Art exhibit, and the empty space that you see because of the very slight curve in the side of the piece is meant to evoke loss.
Four Greens is part of a series by Josef Albers called Homage to the Square. He began the series in 1949 to research what it looked like when related colors sat together. Albers taught design at the Bauhaus school in the 1920s and 30s, and also at Black Mountain College, and Yale. He took lots of photographs, made wallpaper, stained glass, woodcuts, album covers for Enoch Light, and lots more. This painting was done in 1964, long after he was famous, mostly just for teaching color theory. One of the other paintings in the series, Against Deep Blue, is from 1955. Albers was the first living artist to be given a solo show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan, in 1971. Four Greens and Against Deep Blue are part of the Mid Century Abstractions exhibit.
Victor Grippo is from Buenos Aires. His piece Analogia I is from 1970-71 and part of the exhibit The Sixties Experiment. Many of Grippo’s work feature potatoes, and at least at the Tate in London, they have to replace the potatoes once a week. Here’s a link to create your own potato battery.
The dead brains I was worried about turned out to be the brains of pigs.
Also, here’s a picture of Louis Pasteur’s original flasks. They have beef broth in them, not a whole steak, and they’re from the 1860s.
Georgia O’Keefe’s Red and Pink is from 1925, and was painted for a silk manufacturer’s brochure. It was constructed by enlarging and cropping flower petals. Although she spent some time working in New York, O’Keefe is best known for living in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The Fogg has it as part of their Surrealism exhibit.
David Alfaro Siqueiros was a raging communist who painted murals in Mexico during the Spanish Civil War (1936-39). El Fin del Mundo is from 1936 and part of the Social Realism exhibit. David used pictures of a real place in Iraq as inspiration (called Taq Kasra), and the result is a 3D painting where the rock ridges come right off the canvas.
The red reminded Ken of Ronnie James Dio, and me of Dario Argento and He Man. Obviously.
And also the right panel from the triptych Garden of Earthly Delights, painted around 1500 by Heironymous Bosch and used on innumerable album covers and postcards ever since.
Todd Hido’s #2810 is from 2001. He lives in San Francisco and takes lots of pictures of suburban houses (that makes them look non-awful) and also recently took photos of models for an Italian fashion line. This photo reminds me a lot of one by Remi Thornton, who also takes a lot of nighttime pictures in the burbs.
Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks from 1942.
Thanks for listening!
Ken and Angela visited three pieces at the Boston ICA.
Before 2006, the ICA was located at 955 Boylston Street for over 30 years.
Liz is from Boston, and it’s the first time she’s had a piece at the ICA.
Sondra is from New Jersey, and has shows around the country and in London.
Hybrid Bodies is an exhibit within a larger ICA show called Art in the Age of the Internet 1989 to Today. One of it’s pieces is Safe Conduct by Ed Atkins.
Josh Kline made Saving Money With Subcontractors between 2015 and 2017.
Josh is originally from Philadelphia, but lives in New York. He is an art curator as well as an artist.
Thanks for listening!
Angela Sawyer is a professional nice-lady, very artsy, who runs one weekly and four monthly comedy type shows, one of which is in her house. She also plays horrible music no one likes and works 3 or 7 jobs because death comes for us all so your google calendar had better flow like niagra, damnit
Here I am at a great local comedy festival:
Hi. I’ve been playing and writing about experimental music in Boston for nearly 20 years, and I’ve been doing stand-up comedy for 5 years. I went to school for philosophy (Husserlian phenomenology, specifically) back in the 1990s. The thing all 3 of these things have in common is voice. I make sounds with my voice for audiences. Here’s what I’m working on: I’m interested in getting musicians and comedians of both the improvising and not-so-improvising sorts to interact in real time. I’ve been putting them on stages together for a couple of years already, but I’ve found that even given half a stage, they will most likely do what they do singly while ignoring each other collectively. I’d like to come up with some obstacles and tasks to give performers that will push them to actually take each other’s perspectives into account rather than just running simultaneously. I’d like them to get a chance to feel more of the ways that time can happen in a room full of people. Music and comedy are both disciplines that cut up time. Music literally imagines all of the myriad ways that time might be shaped or perceived. Each piece or joke or tune or moment proposes a single time-based structure, the shape of which doesn’t have to follow the laws of gravity, or space, or any laws of physics (not even the ones that bring sound to your ears, since there’s plenty of silent or conceptual stuff out there). However, as everybody knows, all comedy and a huge percentage of music is narrative, tonal, in as opposed to out. This makes some sense, because most thinking is associatively structured. Brains think well in stories, metaphors, pictures, and signs. Comedy, specifically, is the art of social surprise, and literally cannot happen without a sense of narrative. This is not to say that music (or if we’re going to include comedy, “timing”) and your discourses about it need to match up. You are not doing more abstract, more astringent work just by being interested in non-narrative, free, out music. You can eschew metaphors when analyzing tonal music to good effect. And at the same time Albert Ayler, for example, is still very well described as volcanic. Sometimes the structure of top 40 music is extremely complex, and needs a lifetime’s understanding of technique and technology to unpack. At the same time, sometimes hits become hits just because the singer has an accent that people recognize. I say all this because I’m interested in the spaces where narrative and non-narrative, where free & tonal senses of time meet. I’m certainly not the first musician to be interested in it. You can find it anywhere from graphic scores to Ornette’s harmolodics, from an out of key Hendrix solo to the Peter Brotzmann big band covering a jazz standard. Analysis about this meeting point however, does not happen particularly often. However, I think it is particularly worth exploring, with some focus, because now happens to be a very peculiar time in music history. Recording equipment and electronic music making equipment alike are available on every smartphone, carried everywhere, used without instruction by anyone who wishes it. The frequency response available to your average 8 year old is beyond Raymond Scott’s most ridiculous fantasies. At the same time, more of music history, written and unwritten, in English and every other language, is available. Long gone are the days when Lou Harrison could make an entire career out of tinkering with Javanese gamelan styles because his listeners had never laid ears on a tuned gong. You can now youtube your way through hundreds of thousands of Indonesian music videos, both art-world and commercially sourced, from the 1960s to the present. There’s subgenres of all-vocal gamelan from specific neighborhoods, a long exchange of influence between traditional and popular styles, as well as the American gamelan tradition. Art is always a process of taking whatever and whoever you happen to be given and filtering it through a perspective that is as clearly yours as you can possibly make it. And if what’s given to us is everything, the only limits are the ones in our skulls. It is also a peculiar time in comedy history. The history of comedy is available to people more than ever, just as the history of music is. But the explosion of podcasts and the current boom in stand-up means that more self-conscious analysis about comedy is being done now than ever before. Meta and reflexive jokes are now possible that simply weren’t a few years ago, for starters. But more importantly, wondering about how comedy interacts with other types of art, with ethics, etc, is now a constant undercurrent. It is an art in the midst of deciding whether or not it has genres, whether or not it can support any philosophical perspectives, and if there are aesthetics, what those might be. There’s one element of music making, joke making, and analysis that I’ve been glossing over until now, and it’s the communal aspect. None of these three things happens in a vacuum, but between people. Simply put, there are lots of different kinds of listening, kinds of communication, but listening and communication themselves seem to be the only way that people grow. If new ways of feeling time together with people are going to be made, they’re going to be made with a lot of interpersonal effort. And this is where comedy brings something to the table that music can’t. I talk to audiences just about every day, and I’m often reminded that speaking to an audience is a lot like starting a band. Specifically a band where everybody in the room is in it, but some of them might not know. Doesn’t matter whether your words are meant to be jokes or a story or a poem, whether you’re on a stage or on a date or giving an alibi to a cop. Your job as a speaker is to connect, to bring all your listeners together so that they breathe and think and respond back and forth with you as though they-
I’m easy to find.
You can also find me on Venmo, Paypal, Linkedin, Ello, and probably a bunch of other places. I live up the hill from Ruggerios in Jamaica Plain, next to a giant park that I would pave over if I only could.
This site is both by & about Angela Sawyer, who is a person in Boston. Angela looks like one of these people:
Every Sunday night, Angela hosts an open mic for comedians (and musicians too) at the Midway Cafe in JP, which looks like this when it is empty.
Pretty swank, eh? The show starts at 9pm. It’s free, 21+ & everyone gets up & gets 5 minutes onstage. Just put your name in our literal name bucket. The thing even has it’s own website.
Every once in a while, Angela has performed in a comedy festival, like the Women In Comedy Festival, Thunderfest, or the Boston Comedy Arts Festival.
In her normal, everyday, not at all irregular life, Angela is interested in fairly extreme, obscure, avant-garde music and frequently goes on stage just to make a lot of gargling and retching noises. She also writes record reviews and liner notes and even gets paid for that sometimes. You can read her writing at Perfect Sound Forever. A list of her current bands can be found on this site, as well as some musical recordings.
When not making freaky sounds or creeping people out with esoteric musical history trivia, Angela sometimes hosts stuff. For example, you can find out more about the show that happens in her house, Shaves, right on this site. Also, there’s a podcast called The Navel Gaze and a weekly show on Wednesdays with Roslindale Comedy.
In the past, there’ve been showcases called the Riot Shuffle Slot, Midway Presents, the Wreck Room, a production group called the Union Square Round Table, a sci-fi erotica showcase called Storytime At The Ape’s Nest, and a benefit organization called Laugh While You Can. More previous shows can be found on this site under Old Stuff.
Angela went to college for philosophy wayyyyyy back in the 1990s. Her hobbies include diet coke, Edmund Husserl, rosacea, Glenn Gould, emotional child abuse, the Beach Boys, Being and Time, spaghetti westerns, spaghetti western soundtracks, and spaghettios. If you would like to ask a question, book a show of some kind, or invite her to see a movie, wiggle your fingers toward the contact page on this site.
As of today, the number of bands is:
Preggy Peggy and the Lazy Babymakers
Angela Sawyer/Michael Rosenstein/Jesse Collins
Preggy Peggy is a solo project, which is currently a rather odd mix of comedy and improvised jazz. It began as a duo with James Apt (Six Finger Satellite) in the late 90s. Or maybe it was the early 00s? A very long time ago, anyhow.
Semi Sounds is a duo of two people in trucker hats who make the sounds of 18 wheelers while they chitchat on cb radios. It’s me and Sam Potrykus of the incredible Dorchester Art Project.
Duck That is a band for people who play game calls, and it sounds like Mauricio Kagel but also several badly injured animals. It has Steve Norton on reeds and percussion, me on voice and electronics, Jesse Collins on plastic lids and speakers and horns. Sometimes there’s also Josh Jefferson on reeds. Our cd is available in the store.
Michael, Jesse and I started a jazz trio in 2017. We sound like this.
Past bands include but are not limited to:
Grizzler, Negative One, The Electrician, Sharpened To Death, Exusamwa, Bad Telephone, Party Waters, Pig Sex, The Life Partners, the Phenomenological Boys, Les Garcons Sur La Plage, Christmas Morning, Byron Jimmy & Gerard, the Human Hairs, Moshi Moshi I Am The Decider, Sunshine Sanitarium, The White People, Blue Oyster Cult Dot Com, plus many, many other fantasy bands, bands that recorded one song for a specific release, & so on.
In case you wanted to know what I’ve done with my life, this is a set my band played in front of Tony Conrad in 2009. I’m mostly inaudible/invisible, but you can bet I was screaming really high