The Truthiness Show

AdobeAirstream participated in a multiple-month project with Minneapolis Institute of Arts between January and May 2013.

“During the months that AdobeAirstream has worked at or virtually near to Minneapolis Institute of Arts to create three podcasts engaging audience responses to the contemporary art show, More Real: Art in the Age of Truthiness, life has sometimes tracked eerily close to art. The Boston Marathon bombings occurred while I was editing this third and final show in which Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak reflected that the work by Irish artist John Gerrard, Live Fire Exercise (near Djibouti), reminded him of having experienced simulations of a public catastrophe that later on actually did occur.

Other speakers in this third and final show on More Real include Minneapolis public artist and performance artist Janaki Ranpura; host of KFAI radio’s Fresh Fruit, Leigh Combs (the voice after the child, Andrew, who asks “is the other art in this museum real?”), former ad executive David Francis; a gallery guard named Tammy; a museum framer named Kurt Nordwahl; and a mother-and-daughter of Eileen Anderson and Rose; as well as several unnamed speakers. My gratitude to these participants and the ones in our second podcast is enormous.

We undertook this project of eliciting public comment on a contemporary art show as an innovative liaison between AdobeAirstream and MIA in order in part to demonstrate audience engagement through art media. Our wildest dreams, or at least my wildest dreams, really did come true in the form of so many people  having so many really thoughtful indeed fascinating responses to the works in the show. Even though contemporary art can often find itself culturally marginalized, what More Real and its respondents in these podcasts make clear is that culturally, everybody finds a way to plug into the concept of “truthiness,” because “truthiness” — our cultural preference for a little deceit — is a phenomenon of life in the public spaces we share. Please give a listen.

I extend special thanks here to contemporary art curator and director of the Center for Alternative Museum Practice (CAMP) at MIA, Liz Armstrong, and to Nicole Soukup. Jamie Ischer, CAMP intern, was instrumental during my residency at MIA in March. In Santa Fe, sound engineer Dennis Jasso offered fantastic production and editing skills without which these shows would not sound this way.  Claire Schoen of Claire Schoen Productions in Berkeley offered editing suggestions early on that helped enormously. Under creative commons licenses, music tracks from CC Mixter dot org demonstrate the insane creativity of sound artists and of remix as a genre today.

Artists whose works in More Real are discussed in this podcast include Joel Lederer (The Metaverse Is Beautiful), Vik Muniz (Verso), Eve Sussman (89 Seconds to Alcazar), John Gerrard (Live Fire Exercise), Thomas Demand (Oval Office), and Rembrandt van Rijn (Lucretia, in the permanent collection of MIA).

You can’t get much more real than these very real citizens speaking their own truth back to art.