Artists consumer reports

Consumer Reports: Joel Holmberg

Joel Holmberg in his studio.

Joel Holmberg in his studio.

Consumer Reports is a new recurring feature on the ARTnews website that profiles an artist’s consumption of any and all media throughout one work week.

New York artist Joel Holmberg covers a lot of ground. Synthesizing mediums both modern (video, internet) and classical (painting, sculpture), Holmberg makes work that explores the contemporary media landscape with a sense of humor and discovery. His upcoming exhibition, “You Line,” opens at American Contemporary in New York City on October 30th, and his show “Witness” is currently on view at Harmony Murphy gallery in Los Angeles until November 8th. 

For an artist like Holmberg, media consumption and studio practice blur together. Whether buying a Chipotle gift card online or having a casual conversation using an anything-but-casual app, Holmberg’s intake is as idiosyncratic as you might expect from an artist known for his asking of abstract questions to strangers on Yahoo! Answers. — John Chiaverina

Monday, September 22

10:00 AM
Back in my studio in Long Island City after being in Los Angeles for a week. Fired up inDesign to make a PDF with documentation of a show I just installed out there.

2:00 PM
Had Voice Dream, a text-to-speech app for iPhone, read Diplomacy by Henry Kissinger.

4:00 PM
Updated to iOS, updated iTunes, forgot AppleID, forgot Apple ID password, was unable to enable location services.

5:00 PM
After 11 or so drafts, fired off the show’s PDF to a few people. I don’t know why!

6:30 PM
Listened to ilovemakonnen on my subway commute home.

10:00 PM
Finished episode 5 of The Knick.

10:30 PM
Spent a good half hour using iOS 8 predictive text to generate run-on sentences. Posted video of this to Instagram and Vine.

Tuesday, September 23

8:00 AM
Rode the 6 train from my place in Yorkville to my studio. Listened to Florence and the Machine and Cam’ron the whole way.

9:00 AM
Got to the studio, fired up the router, and immediately downloaded the newest Economist Audio Edition, which is an audio version of The Economist available to subscribers, read word-by-word by veteran British broadcasters.

10:05 AM
Purchased a Chipotle gift card for an arts professional in the greater New York City area.

10:30 AM
Ordered some consumables for my studio practice via Amazon Prime.

Tweeted at “normcore” trend forecasters @kholetrends, wondering if they are being served for the new Gap ad campaign that implores you to “Dress Normal.”

10:40 AM
Booked a Genius Bar appointment, iPhone not charging. Backed up iPhone.

11:00 AM
Listened to The Start-Up Podcast, with Alex Blumberg, a former producer for This American Life and the co-founder of the business-economics series Planet Money. It is a show about what happens when someone who knows nothing about business starts one. I couldn’t finish the first episode.

11:45 AM
Did a Google search for Microsoft Powerpoints about “insiders” and got some nice results pertaining to “insider threats” within organizations, as well as ones related to insider trading legal compliance.

12:50 PM
Instagram is definitely top dawg in the world of photo sharing sites now, but in the early days of Web 2.0 this title was held by Flickr. I was curious to see if the Flickr community was alive and well and the only way to do that was to experience it for myself, so I downloaded the Flickr app. I soon discovered that the only people still active in my 2007-era Flickr feed were the artist Rafael Rozendaal and comedian Steven Brody Stevens, who have basically turned on some setting to automatically publish their Instagram posts to Flickr.

1:00 PM
Listened to Cam’ron.

1:15 PM
Realized there was a typo in the checklist for my show… Spelled newsstand with only one s… Oops.

1:45 PM
Listened to Youssou N’ Dour.

2:30 PM
Phantom Gmail. I always leave my Gmail window open on one of my computer monitors and I think I’ve been straining my neck recently because I am always glancing over to the other side of the studio to see if an email has arrived in my inbox. It can be hard to tell, and sometimes I perceive phantom emails. Not proud of this!

5:20 PM
Checked into Genius Bar appointment at 5th Ave. Apple Store, everything is running an hour behind. Ate 2 hot dogs and fired off a Tweet about the Apple Store being like the DMV while I waited.

6:15 PM
Genius inspected my charge port with some primary care physician-type flashlight magnifying glass. There was mad dirt in the charge port, almost like very impacted belly button lint. She took my phone and blew it all out with an air compressor.

Wednesday, September 24

10:00 AM
Torrented some notes from Peter Thiel’s start-up class at Stanford. Voice Dream read it while I stood in the studio. I didn’t really catch a lot.

11:00 AM
Gave The Start-Up Podcast another listen.

11:30 AM
Received confirmation E-mail from Chipotle that the gift card I had purchased had been received.

12:00 PM
Listened to T.I.

1:00 PM
Re-grammed an “inspiration-gram” from HudsonNews’s Instagram account.

2:30 PM
Listened to Migos.

2:45 PM
Tweeted about how “my Marfa” will be a link-farm.

3:00 PM
Cracked open The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright, reading as text-to-speech on Bluetooth while my iPhone is charging. I have a lapel-style Bluetooth receiver that I jack my ear buds into. The lapel clip actually broke a few months ago, so I just put this puppy in my shirt pocket and pair away.

4:00 PM
Noticed a lot of Rush fans shitting on a video I uploaded to YouTube. The video is of a man power-washing a stone wall set to “Vital Signs.” 18 down votes!

9:00 PM
Streamed Madam Secretary pilot. Hard to watch.

9:15 PM
Started watching the pilot for The Bridge. Seemed promising, but I fell asleep.

Thursday, September 25

8:00 AM
Listened to T.I.

9:00 AM
Listened to Migos.

10:00 AM
Fired up The Economist Audio Edition.

11:00 AM
Listened to Florence and the Machine.

12:00 PM
Went in on more of The Looming Tower.

2:30 PM
Turned on Hot97 – made a note to download “Fadd” by Zhu and “Hideaway” by Kiesza.

4:40 PM
Back to The Looming Tower.

7:00 PM
Off to the New York Art Book Fair – listening to Chinx.

9:30 PM
Another go at The Bridge pilot, but it just didn’t grip me.

Friday September 26

8:45 AM
More of The Economist Audio Edition.

9:30 AM
More of The Looming Tower.

11:00 AM
Had a Talko chat with Cab Broskoski – great guy. Talko is a really cool app because it records all of the audio from the conversation and saves it in chunks according to who is speaking — only one person can speak at a time. Total overkill for a casual phone conversation, which is perfect for me.

11:15 AM
Made an channel for Lewis Baltz images. is “a new online platform for collaborative research,” kind of like Tumblr meets Delicious.

11:20 AM
Fired off some Tweets about wanting to own a Lewis Baltz portfolio some day.

12:00 PM
Fired up The Economist again. Good description of the Sony CEO doing the ice bucket challenge. The fuddy-duddy British guy who is reading the article sounds so dismissive, which was really funny. Combined video of this with the audio from The Economist article and posted to Instagram and Facebook. Keep in mind, this was like 3 weeks after all of the ice-bucket-fueled excitement had subsided, but a whole world of performance documentation was still available at my fingertips. A year from now I might not be able to find all these high-profile ice bucket challenge videos, so there’s no time like the present to be unfashionable.

1:00 PM
Tweeted about the fate of Ello being unclear.

2:30 PM
Back to The Looming Tower.

6:00 PM
First time this week I noticed more lights on at U.N. than usual.

7:00 PM
Watched some America’s Next Top Model.

10:00 PM
Listened to Kiesza en route to Windham Hotel party.

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