Tag Archives: art

Novad(s) drop “the Banner” on MoMA; mØma steals for permanent collection!

maybe you herd about “the Banner” drop at Museum of Modern Art [hereafter mØma] on Friday #j13?

“the Banner” in question was created by the Novad(s).  In the course of the evening’s events, representatives of mØma security STOLE “the Banner”!  According to a post-action memee, reps of the Novad(s) recounted the COERCIVE DONATION taking place under the guise of a claim that mØma would not destroy it and “may even hang it up some day.”

In response, the Novad(s) have provided the following letter.  Basic transcription below the jump.

[Part III]

The Value of
“the Banner”
and of
(In Themselves)

for the Art Handlers Union
and for all People Exploited in the Service of Art

…NOTHING AT ALL of monetary value was created on Friday, January 13, 2012, when “the Banner” to which this title refers was dropped in YOUR Museum of Modern Art (hereafter, mØma) in New York City.  But there was something going on in which things occurred.  Let us see if we can understand a few of them.  But first, for some context:

“The Banner” in question was an art object which bore a set of text and images portraying something like the subject of the following:

<on red velvet>
<in whitish blue acrylic>
</in whitish blue acrylic> </on red velvet>
<on black felt> <in white acrylic>
</in white acrylic> <in gold acrylic>
Art [curvy, zig-zaggy stylized font]
</in gold acrylic> <in white acrylic>
Just A
</in white acrylic> <in gold acrylic>
<w/ white chalk outline>
<FONT: stylized block-ish>
</FONT: stylized block-ish>
</w/ white chalk outline> </in gold acrylic>
<in white acrylic>
Is A
</in white acrylic>
<in red acrylic><FONT: block-ish> <b>
</b> </FONT: block-ish></in red acrylic>
</black felt>
<on orange silky fabric> <in dark blue acrylic>
</in dark blue acrylic> </on orange silky fabric>
<black felt>
<in white acrylic>
(A)RT [circle A, duh!]
NOT [in a diagonal-wise line]
<in chalk> [X-eyed Hangman body strung from roof of the T] </in chalk>
<FONT: something serif>
WORKERS [in a similarly diagonal-wise line]
<in chalk>
[X-eyed Hangman bodies
hang from most edges
of WORKERS, and bodies
piled up under the S]
</in chalk>
</FONT: something serif>
</in white acrylic>
<on black felt> <on red velvet> <in chalk>
[X-eyed Hangman face] </in chalk> <FONT: bubble><b outline> END
</b outline> </FONT: bubble>
</on red velvet>
</on black felt>

[You can find the above-described art object documented in various forms by following these links:

Photo album: “#OCCUPYWALLSTREET MoMA Action”




“The Banner” was thrown over the glass of mØma‘s 5th floor atrium balcony, on the northwest side.  “The Banner” was unfurled at approximately 7:30 pm (or a few minutes after).  One Mic Check later (which enunciated each word of the sign), and one rousing chant of “All Day, All Week…”, and suddenly “the Banner” was being pulled up by mØma security guards, only about 1 min. after drop.  An account of the dialogue prior to its removal went in the following manner:

“Excuse me, ma’am, you can’t hang that here.”

“Oh really?  I’m sorry, I didn’t know that…”

And, with that, the banner’s holders — names of H and G (and in THAT order!) — were pulled into a down-going elevator and escorted out of the building.  The following is an approximation of their conversation over the course of their trip, based on eye-witness accounts.

LJ Hartman, Director of Security: Oh and we’ve been so nice to you all day…

H: Well, I just got here so I’m not going to say…

LJHDoS: You can’t take that with you.

H: But it’s ours.  Why can’t we keep it?

LJHDoS: Don’t worry, we’ll hold on to it…

G: ….well you have to promise not to destroy it.

LJHDoS: Oh of course not.  We really appreciate artists here at mØma.  This is “art.”  We may even hang it up some day…

[H & G lay the still-wet painted banner out to dry on the floor of a storage area; some minutes later, as they are being ushered toward the door LJ puts in some final words]

LJHDoS: Truth is…it’ll probably just end up hanging in my office.

Thus was “the Banner” coercively donated to the Museum of Modern Art of the City of New York.  And to what end no one yet does know!  What exactly has been accomplished here or therein?  Was there some further victory in receiving the mØma‘s blessings, to collect our piece for its collection of rich and varied treasures?  Despite the fact that “the Banner” had subversively entered and flown in the white hallowed atrium, having foiled the flustered security guards, and disrupted the steady flow of art-consuming tourists who were forced to have their steady gaze broken by an act of spontaneous creativity, the mØma might seem to have GOT OFF scot free.

[This space intentionally left blank.  Take of it what you wish.]

We think NOT.

The words of COERCIVE DONATION! should be heard from the tips of the skyscrapers, down to the gallows of every beast, in the sounds of every hall, and in the walls of every womb.

COERCIVE DONATION!  A process by which the elite have required us to acknowledge their supreme judgment and appreciation of what is OUR ART.

mØma‘s guilt in this act of COERCIVE DONATION!, as in their pocket absolution of Sotheby’s attempts to bust Art Handlers Union, must be repaid!

But NOT in monetary OR contractual obligations.


in Respect.

(And perhaps, a donation in kind:


Thus, we finally come to a thesis re: our subject here: i.e. value, viz. the value of “the Banner” and All Artistic Objects (In Themselves).  For 1, if you still think in terms of value of this object by monetary standards, then the answer is simple:


So it is in all objects of art or otherwise.

This thing and these things are both within our minds and without them.

….errr, weird?

They are a set and a set which includes itself!

hmm…errrr…. paradox?

This thing is a set of some thing which even excludes itself!


“ART IS NOT BUSINESS!…Art is like white clouds in blue sky!  ART IS CHEAP!”

(Req’d reading: the WHY CHEAP ART? manifesto by Bread & Puppet Glover, Vermont. 1984) <http://www.aisling.net/bus/cheapart.htm>


what is the value of the object in mØma‘s hands, the pile of rags now sitting somewhere below ground, locked somewhere within the hollow walls?



This is not a donation.  This is a message.

What?  Is it so hard to believe???  That object has already passed into the annals of history!  And now, the object’s sole existent purpose and its only relevant value is to resurrect or recall conceptions of what the thing already was!

And yet, do we not have that already?

The thought, the smoke, the motivation, the imagination, the thoughtful consideration, the sketches, the drafts, the hopeful gasps, the assumption, the ambition, the (im?)perfect contrition, the delay, the documentation, the people, the guards, the stress, the pass, the ascent, the sneak, the sight, the ORGASM!, & the speechlessness after, the slow come-down, the thoughts, the fury, the thoughts, the fury….the silence.  Do we not still have all of THAT?


Perhaps there may yet remain some textural flavors which belong to it which cannot be simply be recalled via the photograph, the oral history, the exciting story of how it was smuggled in and dropped from on high!

THUS, must it not be the case that this art MUST BE TOUCHED?  How can the mOma, the King of All “HANDS-OFF! the ‘public art'” institutions, ever claim to legitimately exhibit it?  How can they NOT but mar the value and flaunt their injustice by disrespecting the intention for this ephemeral act-cident of nature?

To paraphrase an apt proverb (often in use today),

FL*OCK the mØma!

They proclaim themselves to be the police, the guardians of our culture!

This is not a donation.


This is a curse.



This thing is not worth ANY money (which seems to be the only thing that they can understand).

This is not a donation.





FL*OCK the mØma.



The Novad(s)

P.S. You took this thing.  You took it for the wrong reasons.  It’s up to you to recognize what you did wrong.  We leave it up to you to decide how to right your wrongs.

P.P.S. But perhaps all of this — the denouncements, the demands, the overzealous rhetoric (which even we can recognize – we know we’re in a sadomasochistic relationship with the mØma…but HEY! they created a PERFECT SPACE for us to hang a loooooooongggg-assssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss banner!) — even this can serve as an invitation.  An invitation to recollection, mØma. We want to PLAY with ART!  To Revolution. We want PLAY with ART! To Self-respect. Come out and PLAY with US!!!

P.P.P.S. And also to you, dear reader, wherever you are: consider our capitalist culture of “art”.  Consider what this thing, ANY thing, is really worth.  Because we don’t find anything in it; nothing at all…If

1) you have come this far and,

2) you agree, send a copy of this letter to


LJ Hartman, Director of Security

11 West 53 Street,

New York, NY 10019-5497



to demand the release of this hostage

(b/c it’s yours TOO!)


— Appendices on The mØma Letter’s theoretical-praxis


Appendix 1. Part I – abridged introduction to the anarchives
Appendix 2. Part II – Dialogue re: the authenticity of the infamous
mØma folder



Appendix 1. Part I – abridged introduction to the anarchives

Where an “archive” might falter in this World of the Forgery, the anarchives THRIVE(s)!

Think of the already ancient thing: an object is somewhere placed in a folder.  Marked or unmarked, the object in the folder has now disappeared.  It is GONE.  The folder is physically empty.  This is so in the sense that the object so enfolded has become entirely obsolete.  All that the object now represents is an idea; and the archived object l’objet archivé? which is merely a memento for a memory of a place or thing or MOMENT (or more…) has itself passed into Eternity.  Into Nothingness; the Void.  Upon its entrance into some sort of canonical legacy, the object itself has become its own forgery!

Appendix 2. Part II – Dialogue re: the authenticity of the infamous mØma folder

[open the ancient FedEx envelope* containing the mØma banner drop documents and dump the contents out on to the table.  there are a few things contained therein: two pages with sketches of “the Banner”, one of many Join/Ignore the Teamsters flyers that were dropped into the lobby of the mØma atrium, “Floor Plan and Guide: English” mØma map (with optional future banner drop location(s)!!!!! (see floor 5)), three tickets to mØma’s “Target Free Friday Night” 1/13/2012, business card for LJ Hartman, Director of Security]

[Begin Dialogue!]

Do you see the blue cot bag with the rip in the lip?

Now tell me, do you see the REAL blue cot bag with the rip in the lip?  NOT the dummy bag, which looks exactly the same, but which doesn’t have the “rip in the lip”, but the REAL thing?

No, you don’t.

What difference would it make, if this object were that, or vice versa, from one moment to the next?  No matter whether it is in absolute or relative space and time, the object has become nothing of consequence for it has passed into history, and legend, and myth.

These words are not unrelated, not unconnected, and not ultimately connected in something very important!

…time&space have altered…IT IS now  A CONCEPT.

Thus is the physical passed into the ethereal, making it possible to be conceived and received by collective consciousness.

The physical world just sits out there ALL DAY, EVERY DAY, and it does not quite exist until we “archive” it.  But what if we archived it all…?  What if we were aware that All of It was, and Every Where It is at all times is already worthy of documentation?  What if the “archives” were every thing, every where, every when!

Then this would be the anarchives, par excellence!

And this, the world of the anarchives, is the world in which the forgery can exist without endangering the Truth.  For the truth iS whatever iS there!  Which is nothing at all!  None of this is Real.  Which is why it all iS the way it iS.

Remember this.

[*The thing to which we have alluded REALLY EXISTS.  Definitely believe me.  I’m not joking!]


The God’s Wait to Delight in…My Jeans

This Levi’s ad has been making rounds about the internetz.  I think people are as much appreciative of the artful nature of this ad as they are confused about how to respond to commercials that pose themselves as art.

In a note from pronoblem on the Fluxus Fluxlist, a passage from David Foster Wallace was quoted from “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again”:

“… advertisement that pretends to be art is, at absolute best, like somebody who smiles warmly at you only because he wants something from you. This is dishonest, but what’s sinister is the cumulative effect that such dishonesty has on us: since it offers a perfect facsimile or simulacrum of goodwill without goodwill’s real spirit, it messes with our heads and eventually starts upping our defenses even in cases of genuine smiles and real art and true goodwill. It makes us feel confused and lonely and impotent and angry and scared. It causes despair.”

I hear that.  For my own part, the combination of “revolutionary” type scenes with model hipster crap makes me want to die.  Even if we sympathetically presume that Levi’s supports popular struggles going on in the world, they are using it to sell MORE FUCKING JEANS.  So thanx fer yer support, corporate friends!

p.s. And yet, is it hypocritical for me to like Andy Warhol?  What are the valuable distinctions between these two figures: Levi’s and Andy Warhol?  The art world and big money have been overlapping for decades…perhaps what makes this  most recent attempt disturbing is the co-opting of poetry to sell a commodity.  Poetry can hardly sell itself most of the time, which maybe explains why it feels wrong for it to be used in service of a commercial.

Who are these vandals?

Who are these vandals?  Who are these menaces? Who are these outcasts, who have marred the beauty of the beautiful sidewalk by our beautiful fountain in our beautiful park?

Well…let me tell you…

We are the 99%.  We are the remainder in your equation, the one that calculates the markets based only on an optimal outcome — and only optimal to some, the few who control 35% of this country’s wealth.  The few who attack socially-responsible economics as radical-commie-socialism.  The few who attackparticipatory democratic politics as lefty-anarchist-utopianism.  The few of you who as you gather more and more wealth to you, you become fewer and fewer and undermine the source of justified power.

And while you become fewer, we become stronger.  We become more, we become many, we become a movement that is stronger than you can imagine.  And when we come together on Wall Street that day, then there shall be a time for us, the 99%, the crowd, the polis, the People, to truly identify ourselves.  For despite the world’s ever-rushing onwards into oblivion, WE shall make TIME for ourselves.

But there is only enough time before a strength reserved, a strength deferred becomes a strength that is broken and withered.

Will YOU, fellow members of the 99%, answer this call?  Why will YOU #occupyWallStreet?  And WHERE?  As we believe that Wall Street is ALL streets, where will YOU choose to be on September 17?


Wall Street is ALL (!) Streets

Date: 8/22/2011, ~11 am. Location: Wall Street, New York, NY
Performer: Bold Jez

I want you to turn to that alarm clock next to your head and BREAK the snooze! Now look at your Hands! These are Your Hands. I want you to recognize that these are Your Hands, which have been oh so gradually alienated from your own bodies. These are the Hands that move the Market. And these are like those hands that have taken our streets and claimed them for their private property.

And whose streets are ALL STREETS? OUR STREETS.
So whose street is WALL STREET? Our street.

We are here RIGHT NOW. It’s time to kill the Protestor inside your head who says, I’m tired – the one who says: …we have done enough…i’m tired…I’m ready to take off my shoes… But the SHOES don’t come off before the GLOVES!

you don’t want to be sleeping when the rEvolution comes.
you don’t want to be looking for your Hands when the rEvolution comes.
you don’t want to find out that you can’t see them because you’re sleeping, because you’re in happee dreamee land.

We’re here to humanize the market. We’re here to overpopulate this system. We’re here to falsify their currency.

So many of us have learned too much from this life, learned to fear our own dreams. The truth is, this is all just a dream. We are dreaming it together.