In Practice: Chance Motives, February 5-8, 2014

Conrad Ventur, 3 Hours with Mario, 2014. Commissioned by SculptureCenter for In Practice: Chance Motives, February 5-8, 2014, Courtesy the artist and SculptureCenter. 

Conrad Ventur (b. 1977, Seattle, WA) lives and works in Brooklyn. His single-channel and multi-channel video installations have been shown internationally. Ventur recently exhibited at The Andy Warhol Museum; Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College; MoMA PS1; Moscow International Biennial III; Kunsthalle Winterthur, Switzerland; PERFORMA13, and Participant Inc. NYC. Recent solo screenings include The High Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and C/O, Berlin. In 2012, Ventur’s 13 Most Beautiful/Screen Tests Revisited (2009-2011) were acquired by The Whitney Museum of American Art.

I love this quote by my friend Conrad Ventur in the obituary on Warhol Superstar Mario Montez:

“What Mario teaches is that you can build a creative life on a nothing budget from what inspires you,” Mr. Ventur wrote in an e-mail. “You can build a persona from what the larger culture has discarded, misrepresented or ignored.”

It’s so true. You need so little in this world to have everything you want.

Susan Miller, don't let me down!

So according to astrologer Susan Miller - whose monthly forecasts on I follow religiously - today is supposed to be a big day for me; Saturn is no longer in retrograde, and some other planet (Uranus maybe) is aligning with it so that a big career opportunity is supposed to land in my lap, in repayment for all the hard work I’ve done the past three years (incidentally, for all you studly stalker-rapists out there who want to see if we’re a match, my sun sign is Capricorn).

But it’s 11:04pm and I’m not Artforum associate editor yet, so I’m feeling like Ms. Miller is a liar. That, or I’m taking over The Kitchen between now and Thursday (she said on or around the 15th. Move over Tim Griffin, your tenure is done). Or, I’ll have to settle for my vase of fresh flowers, which I ripped from some well-maintained garden in Red Hook today as I walked to the jetty.

I’ve lived here more than two years, and I still think Red Hook is one of the most breathtaking spots in the city, and while it’s great anytime of the year, it’s really wonderful when covered in mist, fog, and light rain, which brings out all the shades of grey in the water and rocks and really gives the fog horns their slightly ominous, maritime purpose. I felt cracked out from a late night partying with the Participant crew, so today instead of writing I went out to the water before the rain set in.

After gazing out at the harbor for a long time like a psych patient, I met artist Conrad Ventur for coffee then a beer at Ice House (don’t mix your uppers and downers children), where we waited out the storm. Heading to our respective homes after a lull in the weather, we walked through Coffey Park as the sun went down and everything around us, wet from rain, turned a deeper shade of green.