phantom limbs

journal by Sam Zimmerman concerning new media arts in New York City, curated events at Monkeytown (the video dinner theater in Williamsburg) and his personal projects

Friday, August 18, 2006

Can art love sports?

Who is making art about sports? Does this ever happen? Do artists keep nursing that high school chip on the shoulder? It's such an oil and water subject, I just dare you to name three newish art pieces you've seen about about sports.

OK, I've seen one recently: Brock Enright and Ivan Hürzeler’s "Forest", a jockart Midsummer Nights Dream produced by Cynthia Broan. It's rad, but it's very much about the social thing - how arty jocks play, how they drink, how they fight, how they mate, etc. - and not fully about sport itself.

Poking around on Google a bit I see sports-themed art falling into a few buckets:

1. Sports used to make disaffected political points. I think the theory is: I'm an artist, politics alienates me, sports alienates me, sports imagery describes my alienation from politcs.

2. Sports as ironic sexuality. Lots of wrestling work here.

3. Sports as color and motion studies. Heavy on auto sports and stadium crowds.

So where's the art about teamwork? reaching your personal apex? destroying your opponent? worshiping demigods among us? Here's a guy on flickr wrestling with these very thorny issues.

So to move the ball forward (ahem) on this topic, Zack Davis and I are putting together a program of video art about sports which will show at Monkeytown on September 30. Who's got pieces?