Alan Gilbert


    OVER THE PAST NINE YEARS, the people of Syria have been subjected to bombings, shootings, chemical attacks, torture, and beheadings as part of an ongoing civil war that grew out of peaceful demonstrations against President Bashar al-Assad’s oppressive regime. Part of the wave of mass uprisings across the Middle East in late 2010 and early 2011, the protests in Syria spawned an armed conflict involving various factions, including the newly emergent Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Eventually, the United States, Russia, Turkey, and Iran each asserted a military presence inside Syria’s

  • Mark Lombardi, World Finance Corporation and Associates, ca. 1970–84: Miami–Ajman–Bogota–Caracas (7th Version), 1999, graphite and colored pencil on paper, 69 1/8 x 84".

    Mark Lombardi

    While living in Houston during the late 1980s, Mark Lombardi wrote two seemingly unrelated book manuscripts: one on panoramic painting and the other on the decade’s domestic and international drug wars. He then began to collect information on a subject that would transform him from part-time painter into one of the most prominent emerging artists at the turn of the millennium: the savings and loan crisis and its connections to President George H .W. Bush, Texas politics, and various US allies around the world. Starting with small, rough sketches he made on scraps of paper and napkins in an effort

  • Franz Erhard Walther

    While living in Germany and New York during the 1960s, Franz Erhard Walther produced a series of fifty-eight sculptural objects designed for viewer interaction and direct handling, which were collectively titled “1. Werksatz” (First Set of Works). The earliest of these, Stirnstück (Forehead Piece), 1963, involved using the front of the head to slide a strip of maroon velvet down a wall. The final work in the project, Zeit Stelle Dauer Richtung Bezug (Time Place Duration Direction Relation), 1969, consists of two bedlike structures made with stretched canvas—again dyed maroon—covering wooden

  • Julia Meltzer and David Thorne, We Will Live to See These Things, or, Five Pictures of What May Come to Pass, 2007, stills from a color video, 47 minutes.


    LOS ANGELES–BASED ARTISTS Julia Meltzer and David Thorne have long taken an interest in excavating the past as a means of examining the complex interplay of information, knowledge, and political control. Continuing in the vein of the socially engaged artistic practices they had previously pursued separately, they founded the Speculative Archive for Historical Clarification in 1999—a collaborative whose work began with a number of public presentations and text-and-image pieces based on newly released government documents detailing the United States’ involvement in the Guatemalan civil war

  • Ultra-red

    SINCE AMBIENT MUSIC’S origins in the ’70s, its creators have felt compelled to distinguish it from Muzak or aural wallpaper. Ambient godfather Brian Eno, for one, conveyed this very anxiety in the liner notes for his 1978 release Music for Airports, where he famously argued that ambient music should be “as ignorable as it is interesting.” Where Muzak was made to fit any place and time, he declared, ambient music would honor the heterogeneity of sites, aspiring to a seamless integration with particular social and material landscapes. For Eno, site-specificity would be the new genre’s key distinction.