Christine Shearer: Kivalina

November 10, 2012

We’re hosting Christine Shearer, author of Kivalina: A Climate Change Story, on Saturday, November 10th, 2012 at 6 PM.  Christine Shearer is a researcher for CoalSwarm (part of SourceWatch) and the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has previously worked at the KPFA Radio Evening News, the Center for Investigative Reporting, and the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis. Her work has appeared in academic and media publications including Race, Gender & Class, Conservation Letters, and Newsweek. She holds a PhD in Sociology from UC Santa Barbara.

Christine spoke with Tom Michael of Marfa Public Radio on Friday, November 9th.  You can listen to their interview as a podcast here.

Laila Lalami

October 13, 2012

Lannan Writer in Residence Laila Lalami will be reading from her work on Saturday, October 13th at 6 PM.  Lalami is the author of Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits, a collection of stories, and the novel Secret Son.  She is currently working on an historical novel about the life of Estevanico, a survivor, along with Cabeza de Vaca, of the Narveaz Expedition and the first African to reach North America.

You can also read a number of Lalami’s short stories, essays and opinion pieces at her website.


{ Sic Alps } / Nov. 6

October 11, 2012

Sic Alps.  Have a few new albums.  This latest record, self-titled, is my favorite yet.  Here’s a videofake for a song called “Cement Surfboard” from an earlier record called Napa Asylum.

Opening: LBS.

This Thursday, September 27th, at 8 pm, Charles Stankievech will be giving a talk entitled, “Over the Rainbow, Under the Radar”.  The event coincides with the opening of a new work, “Homeland Security (It’s hard to find a good lamp)”, which we’ve installed at the Marfa Shade Structure.  It’s our first outdoor / public work and we’re very proud of it.  The work will be on display until October 9th.

Charles Stankievech, “Homeland Security”. 2012.
Photo: Lesley Brown

The work consists of 36 Flowtron Insect Killers, arranged in a large grid, and hung from the rafters of Marfa’s central public gathering space, known locally as the Shade Structure.  Each of the objects hangs 8 feet from the ground, considerably lower than ordinary lighting, even a little uncomfortably so.  And yet, they’re just out of reach.  The artist turns the lights on each evening, at around 8 pm.

Charles Stankievech, “Homeland Security (It’s hard to find a good lamp)”. 2012
Photo: Tim Johnson

We’ve also produced a small booklet, in association with Paper Pusher, a small batch, mostly risograph publisher based in Toronto, to accompany the show.  The edition is limited and the cost is very low.  If you’re interested in obtaining one, call or come by quickly.

“Homeland Security”. 2012.


Charles Stankievech is an artist who creates “fieldworks.” His diverse body of work has been shown at such places as the Palais de Toyko (Paris), International Symposium on Electronic Arts (ISEA2010, Germany), Xth Biennale of Architecture (Venice), Eyebeam + ISSUE Project Room (New York), the Musee d’art contemporain Montreal and the Canadian Centre for Architecture. He has curated such unorthodox exhibitions as Magnetic Norths, A Wake For St. Kippenberger’s MetroNet, and the series OVER THE WIRE with Lawrence Weiner, Gary Hill, Tim Hecker, Centre for Land Use Interpretation, Lize Mogel and others. His writings range from academic journals, such as Leonardo Music Journal (MIT Press) and 306090 (Princeton Architectural Press) to experimental texts for art publications. Stankievech holds an MFA in Open Media with a thesis on sound and architecture and a previous critical theory thesis on Slavoj Žižek and Franz Kafka. He currently is artist-in-residence with the Canadian Department of National Defense with a sortie to CFS ALERT—northernmost settlement in the world and active Signals Intelligence station. Upcoming projects include a public art commission by the government of Washington, D.C., the exhibition Oh, Canada at MASSMoCA, and artist-in-residence at Marfa, Texas. A founding faculty member of the Yukon School of Visual Arts in Dawson City, Stankievech splits his spacetime between the Yukon and Berlin.

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This October, in collaboration with Alexander Gray Associates, we’re presenting Last Words, a text-based work by one of our heroes, Luis Camnitzer.  The work consists of six large, consecutive panels where Camnitzer has printed a collage-text interweaving the last words of an unknown number of people executed on Death Row in Texas during the last thirty years.  The work opens Thursday, October 4th and will be on view until Sunday, November 11th.

Last Words (2008)
Pigment print; Edition of 3 with 1 AP
Part 1 of 6; 66h x 44w in (167.64h x 111.76w cm)

The quotations which Camnitzer has selected for Last Words, primarily statements of affection directed at friends, family members and other loved ones, were taken from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s Death Row website, where the names of names of people currently on Death Row, along with the names and last statements of people whom the State has executed since 1982, can be found.  The works are framed pigment prints, measuring 66″ by 44″, with page numbers appearing at the bottom of each.  This aspect, a straightforward reference to the codex form, accentuates the linear, cohesive nature of the work.

Last Words (2008)
Pigment print; Edition of 3 with 1 AP
Part 3 of 6; 66h x 44w in (167.64h x 111.76w cm)

The work, like many in Camnitzer’s oeuvre, troubles the distance and distraction that characterize  habits of viewership by implicating the viewer in the act, or acts, on which the works are based or in which the works consist.  It also draws attention to the practice of publicizing and, in a way, making aesthetic, a person’s last words, which would otherwise be a person’s most private, intimate.  In this sense, it relates to another line of inquiry, which is common in Camnitzer’s work, a consideration of the agency and behaviors of single individuals when confronted with the vast, impersonal and often very violent mechanisms of State power.  And perhaps most importantly, the exhibition of this work in Texas raises critical questions about the actual policy of Capital Punishment which effects everyone in our state.

To learn more about Luis Camnizter, see this interview with Alejandro Cesarco at Bomb Magazine’s Bomb Site from 2011.


Luis Camnitzer (b. 1937) is a German-born Uruguayan conceptual artist and academic who works in the media of printmaking and sculpture. His humorous yet biting work has appeared in many exhibitions since the early 1960s.

Camnitzer’s work has been shown in noted exhibitions and institutions, including individual shows at The Kitchen and El Museo del Barrio, New York; List Visual Arts Center at M.I.T., Cambridge, MA; and Museo Carillo Gil, Mexico City. Retrospectives of his work have been presented at Lehman College Art Gallery in the Bronx, NY(1991) and Kunsthalle Kiel, Germany (2003), as well as at the Daros Museum in Zürich (2010) and the upcoming exhibition at El Museo del Barrio, New York (2011). His work has appeared in biennials and group shows, including Information (1970), The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Biennial of Havana, Cuba (1984, 1986, and 1991); Whitney Biennial (2000), Documenta 11 (2002), and Beyond Geometry (2005), Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA. Camnitzer’s work is in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; and Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, Argentina (MALBA), among other institutions. Camnitzer received Guggenheim Fellowships in 1961 and 1982. A highly regarded critic and curator, Camnitzer is a frequent contributor to ArtNexus, and wrote New Art of Cuba (1994, 2003) and Conceptualism in Latin American Art: Didactics of Liberation (2007).

We’re hosting a special late night acoustic performance by Phil of Mount Eerie (Anacortes, WA) on Saturday, September 29th at 10 pm.  Also, our friend Tess, who performs as Molybden (Austin, TX) will perform a short opening set.  Five dollars at the door.

Mount Eerie has released an impressive number of excellent records over the past six or seven years.  Phil Elverum, the songwriter and principle member of the band, writes beautiful,  contemplative songs, and records them with a stunning variety of sounds, and bands, often resetting earlier songs in surprisingly new ways from one record to the next.

To learn more about Mount Eerie, check out their website.

Mount Eerie at Marfa Book Co.

4′ 33″

September 4, 2012

H_I_G_H_L_I_G_H_T_: A_M_P_L_I_F_I_E_D_C_A_C_T_U_S


August 28, 2012

For the record, CineMarfa & MBCO combined to screen NOWSREAL a film made by and about the Diggers in 1967 on Friday, July 20, 2012.  We did it because we wanted to and almost one hundred people came and most of them stayed late to talk about it.  We also did it to celebrate the publication of Notes From a Revolution: Com/Co, The Diggers & The Haight, edited by our friend and fellow CineMarfa member, David Hollander, along with Kristine McKenna, who edited the wonderful Semina Culture book a few years back. Yes.  The book provides a historical introduction to the Diggers’ publication venture, COM/CO, the Communcations Company, and reproduces a generous number of COM/CO’s broadsides.


August 23, 2012

We’re very excited to host a very special book signing with two people we really admire, James Evans and Rebecca Solnit, next Thursday, August 30, from 6 – 8 pm.   They will be here signing copies of Evans’ book, Crazy From the Heat: A Chronicle of Twenty Years in the Big Bend, for which Solnit provided the introduction.  (And don’t miss Solnit’s talk at the store on Sunday, September 2nd at 1pm.)


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