The Art of Financial Accounting in relation to Birds somehow.

Today my Stern business class started: Financial Accounting. I had been dreading it, thinking “oh, business, this is going to be sophisticated and difficult! I am going to dread this 6-9pm course!” However, upon my first day of class (although I will need a pack of skittles to stay awake) I really enjoyed it. In fact I would venture to say that it’s my best class so far, well right up there with Carlo’s course in London.

Now in financial accounting you have your assets and your liabilities and owner equity. Since its a double balance thing you record things like such. Say you want to buy a chicken. Don’t ask me why, you just do. So you spend $30 on a chicken of your assets but then add $30 worth of chicken to your inventory of chicken. Inventory also being an asset. However, if you wanted to buy a whole hell of a lot of chicken and you put it on a credit card in basic terms. You’d add + $ for chicken to your inventory and + $ for chicken to your liabilities, basically your bills. At the end of the day assets = liabilities + owner’s equity. Owner’s equity being if you decided to sell stock in your chicken. Oh god that was the worst unintentional pun ever! I may actually use it again just for the sake of the cringe that crept over me.

So had class today. But yesterday is when the important thing began. I was thinking about President’s day weekend as I was walking to the PATH and Benjamin Franklin (who was never a president but also goes with the bird theme as he suggested the turkey – relative of the chicken – to be our national bird) for that matter why do we have a national bird and no other national animals? Really animals, stand up for your rights!

But back to Ben. So Ben would keep a day planner. I remember reading about this in middle school in some terribly illustrated book in a class by a woman who I wasn’t so keen on. I would regularly fail our reading tests. So Ben would have this day planner and he’d keep track of where every one of his hours went. Or more like, how he spent them. He’d get up terribly early and utilize the daylight and such and work off into the night. So I began thinking about how I use my hours and where do they all go to. I figured that I spend at least 2-3 hours a day in just commuting! That adds up! I spend another 40 hours a week in going to work, my internship and classes.  Again, a lot of time. Then when you think about how much sleep you get and how much time that takes up! So you can imagine my mind is just reeling over how much time I spend where and doing what.

Now bring this back to Financial Accounting. Again, I was walking to the PATH. I do my best thinking when I’m walking as anyone who has seen me on a telephone or dictating something would be able to tell you. And here it is the art of financial accounting. How can I make a balance sheet of my day? So instead of assets = liabilities + owner equity, you’d end up with Enjoyment = Work + Extremities. I was counting sleep and eating under extremities. But then… bear with me as I take you through a train of thought that really belongs on a carnival tunnel…. how would I assign value to the numbers? Would I make the measurements units of time, units of experience, units of money, units of quality? Its just mind boggling! For instance, though I was considering sleeping and eating as extremities, things you just need to do, they can also totally be considered enjoyment. And in that case, how do I create my balance sheet?! Hence the concept of quality or for that matter experience. If I spend $2 on a cupcake and it make my entire day, how do I weigh that against the 4 hours of work I just did so I could buy the cupcake or feel that I emotionally deserved the cupcake enough to financially buy it!

So you can see, its really difficult to account for yourself! I mean, then you get into the whole concept that accounting is just numbers and the number have no real meaning! Because there are plenty of things that aren’t considered in accounting that do contribute to the value of your company! For instance with all the big pharmaceutical companies, if they develop the Paten for the drug in house, they don’t have to put it on their balance sheet! Or if you bought a building 10 yrs ago and the real estate is now worth more, you still put the price of purchase on your balance sheet. So numbers mean absolutely nothing and I can’t even begin to consider how that will effect my personal accounting! I mean my mind just may explode by the time I figure it all out. And if then you take into consideration that TIME IS JUST A  HUMAN PERCEPTION! Thank you Data/Star Trek episode and the book Speed, then where are we to begin with? And isn’t time acutally a dimension, like the 4th dimension? Does the forth dimension not exist? Oh my gosh this is just amazingly crazy and I have no idea how I’m going to get this personal accounting thing to work. Then again, its just as likely or rather maybe more likely that I’ll have forgotten about this whole art project by next week. However, if there are any suggestions out there – send them my way!


On holidays or lack of them.

First, after receiving the Valentines Day issue of Time Out in the mail, I have decided to give up standard holidays. I know several people who have already made the move and seem perfectly content. In any case, I thought about waiting for Lent to give up holidays but as I don’t place any belief in religions or in the commercial nature of what has become the holiday, I decided I’d just do it now.

Now, I will continue to believe in gift giving and certainly gift receiving and may for convention’s sake hand out gifts when socially deemed appropriate, but I’ve decided to come up with my own holiday system. There will be one holiday per month and those days will be determined by random chance as picked out of a hat. Hold on a sec….

March 7th, April 3rd, May 12th, June 1st, July 13th, August 10th, September 15th, October 22cd, November 19th, December 21st.

If you don’t believe that I just cut up an old calendar, threw it in a mix bowl, mixed and selected the dates above – then you are totally ignorant of my capabilities. So congratulations to the new holidays! I will have to write you down in my date book!

Now for the details – holidays do not include birthdays – which are separate in nature and new holidays are picked upon the day of the last selected holiday. Though I could have set it up so you select the next holiday on the holiday as a holiday ritual, one should know about the holidays in advance so that they can plan for and around them. Vacations and the like. So enjoy your holiday!

In the Land of (r)Oz.

Dear WordPress, in my accessing of your site I was asked by an advertisement to consider the following:

WordPress tip: Be the master of your own domain – make this blog for just $15 per year.

Now, while I appreciate the “tip” I would like you to consider the implied differences in the terms “small” and “lower” before computer generating site names that I might respond to. Lower? No thank you!

And now back to your regular programming.

Its been quite the day. So I thought I would record it. Spent the morning cleaning house, making waffles, listening to music and catching up on three papers worth of art show suggestions. Still haven’t read the Saturday Times. But eventually, I compiled my list and decided to hit up the Soho/Lower East Side area. It seems to be the place I generally end up on my adventuring.

With rules for adventuring in mind, the goal was to get to Broken Kilometer (which I had read as broken barometer), the Earth Room, Artist Space and several for-profit venues before heading over to the Brooklyn Museum for their First Saturday jam party. Not as in jelly or preserves.

And of course, I did accomplish these things with the randomness of roz that usually occurs. Deitch projects was hosting a show of works by Ben Jones which encompassed a lot of video installations voiced in that Strong Bad voice of my adolescence. A good all out show and I believe I caught a glimpse of Mr. Deitch himself, which was especially exciting!

Artist Space was hosting a Works on Paper sort of show and I brought my friend Chris to see it. The curatorial statement was long and I just couldn’t read it. In fact I was just so distracted that I had a hard time getting into the show. It didn’t capture me or keep me there, although I spent a long time organizing square inch tiles on an art installation table in the back gallery with Chris. Mini-curating!

Broken Barometer makes more sense as Broken Kilometer, so when I asked the lady at the desk why it was titled this, she looked at me like I was a total idiot. Really woman its because I don’t read. But Broken Kilometer is an installation at the Dia Foundation of bronze poles each 2 meters long spread in an organized and well thought out order as a linear progression through the large warehouse space. Its one of those things you just have to see. All the 2 meters pieces add up to (tada!) one kilometer. Hence Broken Barometer. Do people even use Barometers these days?

The Earth Room. Yes, this is exactly what it says it is. Its a Soho loft space that has been transformed into a room of earth. I was discussing this with the desk guy because I wanted to know if I could touch it. Its 3,600 square feet of white walled, hard wooded loft space that has approximately 2 feet of topsoil spread across it. It was the most dirt I’ve seen since I got to Manhight! I mean, New York City. It was so exciting that I just wanted to touch it – which I did. Crumpling it in my hands and putting it up to my face to actually smell the dirt. Unfortunately it didn’t smell like dirt at all. Which is entirely appropriate for a dirt installation in NYC where dirt really fails to exist in its natural form.

Walking around I went through several other galleries, finding ones that I had seen mentioned in my Soho listing. Most of them were okay, nothing particularly striking and I have the worst time remembering names so I’ll just forego the idea of reporting about them. Nothing too terribly special. They’re all waiting to gear up for March’s art fair madness.

At this point, in an attempt to save money on my metro card and acting on impulse and desire, I suggested to Chris that we walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. (ah, I have yet to find a new name for Brooklyn! is BKLYN too lame? yes.) So we do that and actually its beautiful out. 45 degrees but feeling like 80 compared to the cold winteriness of the last few nights. And the bridge isn’t that long either. I decided that I could walk it back and forth 3 times without being tired but only 1.5 times without being bored.

On the other side, Chris tells me of this pizza place that is the Brooklyn Bridge crossing pizza place. Grimaldi’s. The wait to get in can be hours. Ours is just an hour. We’ve stood outside watching the cue grow with ice cream cones in hand from the cute lighthouse creamery near by. Its like a cute date except that Chris knows better. So we finally get in and its actually alright. I mean, probably not worth waiting again, but worth it for the experience.

After which we head to the Brooklyn Museum. Thankfully they’re open til 11pm, its 9 at this point. I’ve never been and poor Chris doesn’t have a clue. Its like a total dance party inside! I feel slightly underdressed and awkward for being one of the few people looking at the collection rather than jamming to the dj (who was great!). The Egyptian collection here is great. Its so incredible in its aesthetic design elements that I really didn’t look at one piece of  Egyptian artwork. This could be problematic as the design upstages the art, but I’m not sure if everyone looks at exhibitions the way I do. I hope not. But sheerly amazing in design. Then of course theres the music, the random period rooms. And what? Those Fort Drum photographs that I saw at Light Work last year? What are those doing here?

Highlights from the museum include Hannah Willke’s 1976 video “Through the Large Glass” of a video of a woman striping in front of Duchamp’s Large Glass (eventually I want to put together a show of Duchamp inspired work); Judy Chicago’s “The Dinner Party” – oh Lennie you would love the vulva imagery in this show!!!!!! I was totally English style analyzing it!!!!! ; then of course you’ve got Edwina Sandy’s “Marriage Bed” that’s half a bed of roses and half a bed of nails and Valerie Hegarty’s “Fallen Bierstadt” which is a crumpling painting about to fall off the wall. Clever. All of the work listed is clever hence the listing.

In the mean time I’m carrying around a large bag with a single sheet of paper rolled in it which I’ve purchased earlier on the adventure. Within the last two day’s I’ve had two new art ideas and one new curatorial idea. I’m actually putting one of the art ideas in motion starting today. Mainly because I ran out of milk. We’ll see how it goes before I really bother describing it. So this light but bulky bag which I’m trying not to dent is also traveling on the adventure and I thought I should mention in for mental imagery’s sake. Cheers mental imagery!

11 hits and we’re kicked out of the museum, as is the rest of this amazingly diverse population of better dressed individuals who can actually breakdance. Breakdancing with paper roll did not occur but descriptions of the amazing yoga poses I got into the prior day did occur! Email me for the details on that one. So its early and with a three glasses of wine in me, I’m ready for some beer. Although with a half of pizza, I’ve got no idea where I’ll put it.

The Brooklyn Museum is located in Park Slope – my home away from Hobokena, so Chris and I do some wandering and get to the Tea Lounge – which has live blues/jazz going on! Wow! I just found out that my favorite Beatbox guy played there a few days ago! Love this Beatbox guy, go to the Bellydancing jam outs just for him. The guys there tonight were great though and of course their name isn’t listed on the website! (shaking head).

In any case – great adventure tonight. Highly recommend all of the above from Brooklyn Museum’s first Saturday nights to the Tea Lounge and walking across the Brooklyn Bridge. Its all about getting out there. Or as Lowell said when I ran into him today: Pounding the Pavement. Hell yeah.

List additions.

Love hate relationship with Hobokena Library.

Mountain Goats. Heart.

New self description: I’m all about the hope. And the hurt too.

Skip the egg and add applesauce to your waffles or pancakes.

I should probably twitter just for sanitys sake.

The Top 10

1. At 8 am today my fire alarm politely informed my burnt toast: “fire. fire.” in a sort of urgent yet endearing way.

2. Contemplating the boredom of grad school. Wasting time or not putting in the effort?

3. I love seriously frosted cupcakes. Seriously love. And love seriously.

4. I am slowly renaming the area to suit my needs. Definites: ABC town. The land of Hobokena. Possibilities: Manhight and maybe a Poserville.

5. Thursday 6:45 – 8 pm classes are putting a cramp into my art opening scene. What the heck exhibition design?

6.  Please note: it is all in the shoes. This is why I am still 12.

7. Wow. Still thinking about frosted cupcakes. For some reason, it does not come as a surprise.

8. Yoga mats are made for using. Now if I could find it in my closet….

9. Chinese food twice a week is a treat.

10. Repeat after me: “Living in a 55 degree ‘room’-temperature apartment can be fun!”

The Art Market as defined by some book.

So. Course readings. You would think that as an MA student of art administration, that certain things wouldn’t need to be explained. Like for instance, what a curator is, a critic, a connoisseur or particularly the artist. However, I guess it is better to never assume anything – even if this means a lot of page flipping. In this page flipping, I found a great chart of the art market. (there were many charts, but this one, more of a list actually, was the best!) So here it is, how you divide up artwork?

Alpha: gilts or treasury notes, high quality art of dead artists. Old master paintings, the best modern and highest quality Asian art and antiques. Exclusively second market with considerable and certain resale and investment value. Proprietors: Collector-connoisseurs, businessmen (former merchant-bakers or speculators), amateur dealers who may choose, for tax reasons, to operate at a loss.

Beta: blue chip securities, highest quality contemporary art, exclusively second market with highly potential resale and investment value. Proprietors: Businessmen (financial services), amateur dealers who may choose for tax reasons, to operate at a loss.

Gamma: index-linked bonds and futurers, works of art that may prove worthless or ascend to the beta level. Proprietors: Artist dealers and intellectuals.

Delta: junk bonds, i.e. worthless unit value of art, with significant aggregate value but no resale value. Oil paintings, sculptures and low value (often damaged) antiques. Proprietors: souvenir merchants and tourist memorabilia sellers, parkrailing merchants, art supermarket and warehouse salesmen.

(taken from Understanding International Art Makerts and Management by Iain Robertson)

So, what was the point? you might be wondering. Now for that to come across, come with me on an imaginary journey. Picture this: me. sitting at my kitchen table. reading on google books, thinking why am I reading this stuff. Alpha, yes. Blue chip, beta, uhuh. Reading chart, reading chart. Get to gamma. Interesting term and then here, in this quick second you find why I’m bothering to spend time writing about this book. Gamma art, Proprietors: Artist dealers and intellectuals. That just gets me right there. Who wants to sell art that may have no value? The intellectual of course! And funny that this should be the only mention of the intellectual in the art selling market. Funny that they mention the mysterious category of intellectuals at all, because last time I remember the list of public intellectuals wasn’t that long. Go ahead, try and name some. I’m coming up short, but thats just natural. And the artist of course, the artist would take a risk on art that may not go anywhere. Its just fantastic. So there we get to my part of the art selling world. The land of aesthetic philosophy and faith in what we love. I love how it gets just stuck in this chart like an after thought, or an aftertaste of appreciation if you will.

Vik Muniz you are a god or, why Rebus should be required viewing.

Dear Vik Muniz.

You are a god, but certainly you must know this. You must have other worshipers. I first came in contact with your work because it made me laugh. And I love art that makes me laugh. I love art that makes me laugh at art, or more appropriately, with art. Now thats successful art for you. Now, as you must know, there isn’t always a lot of art out there that fits that unique category. So it wasn’t hard to figure out that your name kept coming up. And this when I fell in love with you. (I know pretty heavy for a first time imaginary love letter, but what can you do?!)

So when I saw your name mentioned in the context of the Rebus show at MoMA, I have to admit I couldn’t even finish reading the sentence. I was sold. I was going. And I went. And really, honestly, I expected to see your work. I was expecting a show of you. In fact I had read Rubik rather than Rubus and had expected you to be making things out of Rubik cubes like Pollock pieces or something. So, it caught me for a moment that it wasn’t your work, but really that’s not true either. For all the work that wasn’t yours, it was really just one larger work that was yours. And does so truely fit with your body of work, your use of art as the subject of art. Its really brilliant you know. And if I keep saying really, let me just put it this way, I wish I could find a greater emphasis to use instead.

I laughed immediately upon seeing the show. I mean just the first work, which I was already familiar with, and its huge crowd surrounding it. It was hard to get in! I love the way the name puns as your opening piece. I love the references to Plato in the second through fourth pieces. I love the way you drive this exhibit like a car changing lanes or making turns whenever it feels like it, but at the same time, keeping that rhythm, the beat, the soundtrack of our lives. Keeping it going and letting it also change course. I walked through the whole exhibit and giggled. I like the use of your gray wall to keep our eyes focused on the art. I just want to go back and take notes on how people respond. I asked the guard, but I don’t think he was honest.

I kept going around and around and then I found out about your talk and ran down to sign up for a ticket. No luck. It would have been my first day of financial accounting and I would have gladly missed it for you. Thats both not really and is really the comment on financial accounting that it could be seen to mean. I think I ran back and forth to and from the gallery at least two other times. Getting the audio guide that the guard said didn’t exist. Even if it was just one number, that was particularly hard to find, it was worth it.

Now I know I should be critical and say something academic sounding and the like. But this was such a pleasure trip for me visually and intellectually that just trying to put it all in words makes it sound bad. So I understand if you don’t make it through the rest of this letter that you’ll probably never read. Its okay. But what I do want to say and say rightly is that, part of what made it great was that each time I returned I found something new. It didn’t have to be all out shocking like some of the work you see now. Shock value just for shock value. It was clever, it was funny, it carried meaning, it asked questions and it made statements. But, of course, what else would it do? Its yours.

And I love the handouts, the educational guide. I just want to frame it and put it above my bed. I love the way you think, I love rocks, paper, scissors. I love the movie screen and the end. And how I will not make boring art or how I will love Marcel Duchamp even more when he is next to this pail. I think he would too, personally. I love how all of these works that I knew came together to be something more than their individual worth. I love how you do this to art and I love how it makes me feel to see it.

So there you have it, Vik Muni -, a love letter, or if you will, a love post, just for you. No stamp necessary.

And most importantly, thank you. Thank you for being you. Thank you for keeping art on its toes.