1. I have some work in the Cooper Union End of the Year show, which is up through June 9. Open to the public, Tuesday - Saturday, noon to 7 pm.

     
  2. Earlier this week I was honored to play a small part in a very important project. All I did was talk about radios and railroads and schools for a few minutes, and that was great, but what mattered far more was the everything else that was going on around me.

    That everything else was NEO New York (click that link because it’s a beautiful website), a week long workshop/forum/place-of-brilliance that took place at Cooper Union this past week. It was organized by two dear friends and fellow Cooper folks, Troy Kreiner and Rachel Mendelsohn, and it brought together a cast of students, designers, and artists from all around the world. To make it happen applied for fellowship money, crowd-funded the rest, and they paid all the teachers and workshop leaders.

    NEO New York was a beautiful, if temporary, example of what free education does and what is produced within that kind of environment. What comes out of it is not only rigorous work, but a community with a deep sense of commitment to education itself. That kind of commitment, that integrity, is not shared by the administration and trustees of Cooper Union Right now they’re doing everything they can to charge tuition, and it’s insane.

    Projects in spite of that “harsh reality” are important because they offer a glimmer of hope for education. And if not that, at least the assurance that there are indeed holes in the fences and frameworks of institutions of higher ed — and people out there who know how and where to find them.

     
  3. Filed under: trains, moonshine, pirate radio, and prints.

    Short video of my thesis show at Cooper….Thanks to Clemens Poole for helping shoot the footage.

     
  4. image: Download

    For the past couple of days I’ve been helping @dejenjamin and @hopeloff move into their new studios. This has mostly entailed moving around boxes, patching and painting walls and floors, etc. 

It has also meant cleaning up after a bootleg designer perfume operation. 

The space smelled like something between the collection of household cleaning products under your moldy kitchen sink and a Yankee candle co. store at an outlet mall.The windows were sealed shut with duct tape and the floors was littered with small scraps of foil stamp labels reading everything from “Dior” to “Zara” to “Lusty”….Cleaning all that up got me wondering: what happened to those discount perfume guys? Did they move their hustle somewhere else? Were they priced out of the building by rent hikes? Edged out of the market by a competitor? The law came down on them? Or did they just call it quits? 

Between that and the perfume-paint-fume combo, I couldn’t help but think of Cooper Union, and the board’s commitment to charge tuition — effectively destroying the school. In so doing, they’re trying to sell the Cooper community, and the rest of the world, a cheap, half-priced imitation of the real Cooper Union in order to pay for the rent (loans) of a building that the school could never afford in the first place. The real thing — what makes the school — is the Cooper Union’s 150 year mission of providing free education of the highest quality to all students. That mission makes Cooper Union the best, the Chanel No. 5 of higher education — and better yet, it actually smells good, and it’s free to everyone.

That mission has been sold on down the river (down the Bowery, closer toward Wall St.) by the school’s president, Jamshed Bharucha, and the trustees. 

Their asking price is not free. It’s 50% off. 

What the board and Jamshed  are peddling, is a discounted imitation of the Cooper Union. It’s half-price crap with a slick institutional veneer. As @slavin_fpo wrote, while trying to talk the board down from the tuition cliff: “building a half priced school of sacrifices is to succumb to the culture of Cubic Zirconium and Corinthian Leather. It’s fool’s gold. Ghetto scrip. It’s not for real, and it’s not for good”.

I couldn’t put it better, or agree more, and I can only wonder how long Jamshed and the board’s half-priced, money-grubbing operation can last before they, just (maybe) like those bootleg perfume guys, get run the fuck out of the building. 

Whenever that day comes, I’m sure to be there, along with countless other Cooper Union students and alumni — all ready to clean up the mess, get rid of the stench, move-in, and get back to work.

    For the past couple of days I’ve been helping @dejenjamin and @hopeloff move into their new studios. This has mostly entailed moving around boxes, patching and painting walls and floors, etc.

    It has also meant cleaning up after a bootleg designer perfume operation.

    The space smelled like something between the collection of household cleaning products under your moldy kitchen sink and a Yankee candle co. store at an outlet mall.The windows were sealed shut with duct tape and the floors was littered with small scraps of foil stamp labels reading everything from “Dior” to “Zara” to “Lusty”….Cleaning all that up got me wondering: what happened to those discount perfume guys? Did they move their hustle somewhere else? Were they priced out of the building by rent hikes? Edged out of the market by a competitor? The law came down on them? Or did they just call it quits?

    Between that and the perfume-paint-fume combo, I couldn’t help but think of Cooper Union, and the board’s commitment to charge tuition — effectively destroying the school. In so doing, they’re trying to sell the Cooper community, and the rest of the world, a cheap, half-priced imitation of the real Cooper Union in order to pay for the rent (loans) of a building that the school could never afford in the first place. The real thing — what makes the school — is the Cooper Union’s 150 year mission of providing free education of the highest quality to all students. That mission makes Cooper Union the best, the Chanel No. 5 of higher education — and better yet, it actually smells good, and it’s free to everyone.

    That mission has been sold on down the river (down the Bowery, closer toward Wall St.) by the school’s president, Jamshed Bharucha, and the trustees.

    Their asking price is not free. It’s 50% off.

    What the board and Jamshed are peddling, is a discounted imitation of the Cooper Union. It’s half-price crap with a slick institutional veneer. As @slavin_fpo wrote, while trying to talk the board down from the tuition cliff: “building a half priced school of sacrifices is to succumb to the culture of Cubic Zirconium and Corinthian Leather. It’s fool’s gold. Ghetto scrip. It’s not for real, and it’s not for good”.

    I couldn’t put it better, or agree more, and I can only wonder how long Jamshed and the board’s half-priced, money-grubbing operation can last before they, just (maybe) like those bootleg perfume guys, get run the fuck out of the building.

    Whenever that day comes, I’m sure to be there, along with countless other Cooper Union students and alumni — all ready to clean up the mess, get rid of the stench, move-in, and get back to work.

     
  5. Will never forget how freaking happy we all were to get out of Belgrade.

There will be a whole heap of photos and memories of the Hippo’s voyage down the Danube at the upcoming Menschel Fellowship exhibition at Cooper Union. Opening Feb. 4, 6-8pm.  Come check it out.

    Will never forget how freaking happy we all were to get out of Belgrade.

    There will be a whole heap of photos and memories of the Hippo’s voyage down the Danube at the upcoming Menschel Fellowship exhibition at Cooper Union. Opening Feb. 4, 6-8pm. Come check it out.

     
  6. slavin:

    Everyone wants to know what happened at Cooper Union today. This video has nothing at all to do with that.

    I haven’t slept in 36 hours and I needed to watch something that spoke to that feeling. This does that.

    Three minutes, see it through.

    "What my beagle does when are not home."  (Rodd Scheinerman)

    I think everyone intimately involved in the struggle against tuition at Cooper knows this very feeling all too well. Here’s hoping that everyone gets to eat a damn snack and take a nap soon.

     
  7. Recreating the Hegemonies That We Seek to Destroy
    2013

    The bundle of fabric and rope there is the "Free Education To All" banner that was flown from the 8th floor of the Cooper Union Foundation building during the December 2012 student lock-in in protest of the Cooper Union board and administration’s decision to charge tuition and attempt to end over 150 years of free education at the institution.

    On top of the banner is a a solid, cast-lead softball, and a copy of the April 23, 2013 New York Times, which ran the front page article, "College Ends Free Tuition, and an Era" supposing an end to the struggle against tuition at Cooper Union. A month later, the NYT was covering the student occupation of Cooper Union President, Jamshed Bharucha’s office, which held for 65 days. The occupation ended following a negotiation several of the school’s board members. The agreement that emerged from the negotiation included direct student representation on the school’s board, and the formation of a Working Group comprised of students, faculty, staff, and trustees charged with developing a plan to keep the school tuition free. In December of 2013, the Working Group presented its report to the trustees, and Cooper Union blinked on tuition…The struggle continues.

    The bat included in the piece was a prototype for a cricket bat that was presented to Jamshed Bharucha upon his inauguration as President of Cooper Union in October of 2011. The prototype bat now reads “This Ain’t NYU”.

    The headphones play an audio loop of Free Cooper Union’s November 24, 2013 performance at e-flux of the 41-page trustee meeting transcript first leaked to the Village Voice on May 23, 2012.

    Photos by Alex Goss

     
  8. Wheel of Progress
    2013
    Joe Riley

    Bronze casting of a small diameter train wheel atop a 72”, full scale wooden (ash) railroad track. The track is elevated off the ground, at a slope by a stack of bricks, a cast ceramic railroad tie plate with cast aluminum railroad spikes, and a pair of legs.

    The sculpture is based on the accompanying “Wheel of Progress” photo-lithograph; a 28x38 in. print sourced from cover image of the 1955  “Wheel of Progress” railroad comic book… with some subtle changes.

    The photos here show the work at my thesis exhibit, Free Ride though I consider the piece a work in progress, and there are a few additions/changes I’d like to make before all is said and done. To be honest, it’s been like that for several years now, and the assembly here is really just one of a few stops along the way. It all started when I sand-casted the bronze wheel back in 2011 at Cooper Union, the same place where I cast the spikes in 2012. The lithograph is from 2011 and the wooden track was originally used as a shelf for the Parallel Cases exhibition in February on 2013. Audrey Snyder helped me make the ceramic tie plates this past November, and I’ve had the boots and pants you see on the mannequin there for years….

     
  9. I have finally gotten around to sorting, editing, uploading photos of my thesis exhibition, Free Ride. Plenty of images and descriptions of the work here and photos from the opening are here.

    I plan to post some more images of individual works from the show over the next few days, so stay tuned.

    Thank you so much to everyone who attended the opening and came to see the show while it was up. Above all, my thanks and my love goes out to my friends and family, so many of whom worked even harder than I did just to be at the opening. That means more to me than I could ever hope to tell.

    The photos you see here are from Alex Goss

     
  10. A few pictures from the opening of my senior thesis show at Cooper Union. Thank you so much to everyone who came out to the opening — it was wonderful to see and be there with all. The show comes down on Wednesday, Dec. 18.

    Free Ride opened on December 10, 2013 and ran through December 18. An HO-scale model train bearing a load of school desks and students ran circles around the exhibition and letterpress prints were free for the taking. A trio played music in the adjacent library and the sounds were broadcast to FM radio receivers in the space while attendees sipped from a drinking fountain resembling a still and emblazoned with the phrase "Whatsoever Things Are True". The fountain had about three gallons of 180(ish) proof moonshine flowing through it. Most all of it was gone by the end of the evening.

    Photos by Audrey Snyder and Clemens Poole.

    More on flickr.