Calendar. 03.30.10.

Love Seat, 2008, by Sean Johnson. Part of the exhibit, This Growing Up Stuff… at Howard House in Seattle, opens Thursday at 6pm. Artist talk this Saturday at noon. (Image courtesy of Howard House.)

In other news: New Museum curator Richard Flood’s bloggers-are-prairie-dogs speech has lit up the interwebs. Let’s start with Conscientious, who does a brilliant take-down, stating that Flood is channeling his “inner Sarah Palin” and that if bloggers are prairie dogs, then mainstream media are also prairie dogs…who operate in slow motion. True, that. Next up: Jerry Saltz, whose infamous Facebook page was a target in  Flood’s trash-a-thon, provided a handy list of how the NuMu might stop annoying people. Ed Winkleman pulled out his mini prairie-dog bazooka (and provides some interesting thoughts to chew on). Tyler Green helpfully points out that major institutions, um, blog, too. AFC issued a YouTube video response. And Hyperallergic, which got the whole brouhaha going, came back with an extensive round-up of reactions to the speech. Plus, late update: this hilarious Tweet from @SpumoniNick.


  1. Steven Kaplan

    Steven Kaplan comments:

    The Prairie Dog meme is interesting NOT ONLY because it reveals Richard Flood as inept and clueless. For a curator at a “cutting edge” institution like the NuMu to be so lagging in Internet savvy is both ludicrous and unforgivable. It’s not enough for him to defer to co-curator Lauren Cornell as his Internet “guru”. If he … See Moreis so retardataire in this, what faith can we have in any of his other judgments? Perhaps it’s time for that gold watch, Richard. Time to be put out to pasture. The golden years beckon. And if you’re lucky, your pasture will not be overrun by those pesky prairie dogs.

    But getting back to the NOT ONLY of the preceding paragraph: Flood reveals his Midwestern bias by citing prairie dogs. Here in the East we know their close cousins, the groundhog, and we pay a constant if humorous attention to the prognostications of Punxsutawney Phil. We credit groundhogs with an ability to predict the weather, the seasons, the future. They are our furry seismographs, our rodent seers. So in denigrating the art blogosphere with his prairie dog epithet, Flood pays inadvertent homage to the sensitivity and prescience of an entire quadrant of the art discourse that he in fact knows absolutely nothing about.

    Our experience of the NuMu might go back to its rooms at the New School. Or to Marcia Tucker’s grand experiment at 583 Broadway. But neither of these heady early incarnations bears any resemblance to the current temple of privilege and presumption on the Bowery. The same underlying arrogance that led to Joannou-gate and to the Urs Fischer three floor debacle is revealed in Flood’s complacent ignorance about the art blogosphere. In his mind it is our fault for being so insignificant, grass roots and partisan, not his fault for not being competent and cognizant. We DESERVE to be ignored.

    Flood’s citing of prairie dogs is significant. It marks him as a dinosaur. The death of the dinosaurs in the late Mesozoic saw the advent of small, ground burrowing mammals who were more adapted to new conditions. I’m proud to be a prairie dog if it signals the extinction of big noisy reptiles at the Nu Mu who bellow and trod heavily, but whose extinction is nigh.

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