Sunday, December 28, 2008


Greetings from New York!

Unfortunately, the hostel computers are not letting me upload photos (those bastards) so it will have to be mostly textular for now. The photo above was really a generic one stolen from google images, my own photos are probably very similar except with the tinge of lame wittiness that you so expect from this blog...


Saw this when walking Chelsea yesterday.

Obviously, we also saw this.

Overthenet...we seem to be stalking you...I hope you don't mind.

Obviously we've been doing as much as possible whilst here and have plenty of stories. But I feel as though such tales need photos alongside so will wait till I can steal Claudia's laptop (might not be till around new years) to show you the visual feast that is our trip so far.

Until then, this is really just a note to say that yes, we are still very much alive. We're getting heckled at by the homeless, lost on the subway for hours on end and squished amongst the crowds but we are still alive!

Have also been trying to mail postcards but NY seems to be lacking in mailboxes...where are they?? In the meantime, sorry for the delay.

I heart New York.

- Agnes

p.s. How was your Christmas/Hannukah/SantaDay/etc.?

Monday, December 22, 2008


One last parting photo from phippys (our favourite place in the world...)

Off to New Jersey and New York for the next two weeks so will probably find it hard to blog often. Alas, do not fret, the pnb-ers will be back with plenty of news from the Apple that is Big. Wish us luck...

A final thanks to people who have been tuning into this blog. We hope you have been enjoying a glimpse into our madness.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and all those cliche things people say at this time of year.
Be Merry!
Eat lots!



Sunday, December 21, 2008


This is our trip to Phipps!

If you are wondering what exactly this Phipps is, I will tell you that it is a large botanical greenhouse that we were told was 'unmissable'. Let's see about that...

What we did find here was plenty of funny signage. And strange art like this:

We also learnt heaps of interesting facts:

Plenty of stuff that was family friendly. The plants looked fake. Sugary sweet foliage and such...

Phipps was an interesting look into art that's not art that could be art but most probably isn't. Actually I'm going to go as far as saying that it was art, just because it was a great example of the fake and unreal that is found so readily here. And because the signage etc was so damn funny. Enjoy. Another fun day in the Pitts.

- Agnes

BTW I spent 8 buckaroos getting into this place,
Claudia spent zero.


500 Bus

A visit to Pittsburgh without seeing the Andy Warhol Museum is apparently punishable by death off we went catching the 500 bus downtown and over the bridge (Pittsburgh has 30 or so bridges) to Sandusky St. While i'm on the topic of public transport, let me just say that Pittsburgh, like Auckland, has an appaling public transport system in terms of reliability of timing and all that jazz. I have been known to wait 40 minutes in the snow for specific buses to come. It is also annoying because it is free for CMU students (a la claudia), but not for me grrr...

And on another note, most museums and galleries here are also free for CMU students. So whoopdidoo if you are one.

Rant over (rant? or jealousy...)

Anyway, this museum is overfloweth to the brim with screenprints. To the point where you wonder what exactly the difference is between a print of Grace Kelly and one of Sylvester Stallone. Perhaps too many for my liking. Not many of his sculptures either which equalled many a disappointment.

There were plenty of his earlier drawings though. Was rather humbling to be able to see some stuff from Warhol that seem more earnest than his usual stuff...

Best Of the Museum:

- Silver Cloud, a room full of silver balloons floating around and about. Most definately fulfilled my childhood balloon obsession (home show heliums were my favourite). It was such a simple way create awareness between viewer and space. Did not appreciate the crazy high-heeled ladies kicking balloons around though (they were later reprimanded by a gallery attendant...ahhhh attendants...)

- Oxidation Paintings. One of my favourite pieces from Warhol and also a refreshing change from the screenprints (I cannot say enough how many there were...).

I wasn't allowed to take pictures in the museum either so apologies for the shoddy shots. (and for a lack of them). The photos I did manage to take all had to be snapped sneakily from hip level while dodging attendants at the same time. Woes of a blogger. I know.

I also went wild in the Museum shop and bought myself a Diana Camera. Yay for plastic medium formats. Hell yes.

- Agnes

p.s. Just want to let everyone know that it is -9 degrees here. And that we also trekked to this museum in that temperature. With the cruddy bus system. Just to let you know. Send us some sympathy warmth. Or some Vodka (tis how the Russians keep warm).

p.p.s Postcards for those who requested them will be sent soooon (I promise).

Friday, December 19, 2008

Keep It Slick

Claudia displaying the crusty golden delicious sweet apple pie

CMU's Miller Gallery is host to the first Yes Men exhibition and we were lucky enough to catch it (although not lucky enough to attend the workshops: How to be a Yes man...daaaaam).

This exhibition is pretty much a retrospective of Yes Men projects throughout the years. There is also a Yes Men movie coming out soon that I heard was rather interesting, will be keeping that on the radar.

The best thing about this exhibition (for me at least) was the fact that I was able to spend as much time as I liked in the room without yet another gallery attendant making me hustle. Indeed, I spent so much time there that Amelia and I were able to read the 'Iraq War is Over' newspaper back to front. That, and watch the video where they convince fuel executives that humans could possibly be recycled for a new kind of fuel (human candles!).
I also sneakily nicked a couple of stickers too. The 'Burgh is making me Baaaaad.
- Agnes

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Yumi Kori Kanata

Luca Buvoli Instant Before Incident (Marinetti’s Drive 1908)

Mark Garry Being Here

Mary Temple Untitled

Sarah Oppenheimer 610-3356

Yayoi Kusama Infinity Dots Mirrored Room

One of our favourites, a wall painting made to look like a very subtle shadow. You could hardly notice it, and most people didn't until we were putting our shoes back on from the Yayoi Kusama installation and happened to look up...

James Turrell Catso, Red

Jacob and Jessica Ciocci

Gretchen Skogerson, Switch

Brody Condon Judgement Modification

Bill Woodrow Ship of Fools: Discovery of Time

A trip to the Mattress Factory, (where else?) Pittsburgh

This gallery is situated in amongst some crazy ghetto neighbourhood called the Mexican War Streets on the North Side and is converted out of a proper house so it has what they call 'room sized environments'...

Which made it a really nice gallery to peruse at your leisure. Smaller rooms and no scary gallery attendees/guard dogs either. The show was also called Inner and Outer Space which fit in nicely with the 'environment' idea as each artist sought to explore this idea of inside/outside space in each room. The exhibition flowed well from each artist too. And I found the most successful artists were the ones who really embraced the idea of the room like environment, as opposed to the artists who just set up work inside the space...

The main building had a great Turrell floor. Most of the stuff in this building also revolved around having to enter strange pitch black rooms. We also frequently forgot to read the maps which told us where to walk in these rooms without hurting ourselves, which made for an interesting 'wall-feely-stumble-in-dark' situation...

Our favourite though, would have to be Sarah Oppenheimer's piece where she created a chute which allowed you to look out into the neighbour's yard. Funnily enough, when we viewed the house from ground level, they had mega fencing and crazy lockage to keep people out. Interesting voyeuristic tension.

Some of Carolyn's tutors, Jacob and Jessica Ciocci, were also a part of an exhibition in a separate part of the Mattress factory (it was split into two different houses in the neighbourhood). Was a crazy mish mash installation of 80s video game technology, mix tapes, plushies and video work. I particularly took to the video from the TV on the floor which had a soundtrack with it as well. Hypnotic goodness!

Today we also saw the Yes Men exhibition at CMU, look out for it in next post...

- Agnes

Monday, December 15, 2008


Saturday night show at AIR (Artist's Image Resource)

AIR is a non-profit print shop in the north side of Pittsburgh. Our friend Rachel was a part of this show, hers is the projection work (7th picture down)

People tend to have later shows here, as to allow for more party time. This show also had a keg containing what i was told was 'maybe organic beer from some local brewery'...all i know is that it had a faux nutty aftertaste...and that I didn't get to drink it from the iconic red 'solo cups' that are so popular amongst american university parties (or even american parties in general).

The show was a bit of a mish-mash of work, with no apparent theme. I was told this wasn't always the norm at AIR. It was also quite print heavy which is to be expected from a print shop, no?


- The Jaws Montage
- Rachel's projection with a guest appearance from Ahilapalapa
- The cardboard room complete with hyperactive children and fort building

Let downs:

- climbing the ladder to find nothing all that exciting
- running out of solo cups

After this show, we went to a bar called 'Brillo Box', where else but Pittsburgh??

Apologies for being off the radar lately as computers have been hard to come by (Claudia is still finishing her thesis, therefore rendering her laptop in 'frantic research mode'. She is still working on it as we speak even though it was technically due 3 hours ago...

So far it has snowed and thawed. Such is the beauty of Pittsburgh winters. 

Hopefully we will be bringing more news as the semester is finally finished and we can start exploring more places such as the Andy Warhol museum (we must while we are here!) and the mattress factory. 

On another note, other things I have been up to while here is going through the rite of passage of watching a 4 hour American Football game (Pittsburgh Steelers vs Baltimore Ravens) and bowling (ol' fashioned american bowling!). I've also frozen my feet off while waiting for buses, the Pittsburgh bus system doesn't' seem to be any better than that of Auckland. Blast. 

Fun times.

- Agnes