The past cannot be studied. It has vanished, leaving scars, tracks, stains.
— H. Glassie, Passing the Time: Folklore and the History of an Ulster Community
The Internet is full of mysteries. Two of the more intriguing ones have been a Twitter account, @Horse_ebooks, and a YouTube channel, Pronunciation Book, which have been running for the past several years…. Were they really spambots? Were they some slowly unfolding promotion for, say, a new phone or movie? Were they machines testing out a new kind of artificial intelligence? Were they Edward Snowden’s side projects?
Most of those questions will be answered today, starting at 10 A.M., at the Fitzroy Gallery, on the Lower East Side. There, the creators of the two accounts, Jacob Bakkila and Thomas Bender, will prove that they are indeed human, appearing in a performance that is the final flourish in this suite of conceptual-art pieces, weaving together Horse_ebooks and Pronunciation Book.
FEATURED ARTIST: Amanda C. Mathis creates temporary, site-specific works in vacant homes slated for renovation or demolition. She alters these interiors by selectively removing layers of walls, floors and ceilings, revealing the history of each building and juxtaposing past standards of craftsmanship with present decay. Information and stories about past residents are gleaned from the artist’s deconstructive practice and her interactions with neighbors or former residents. Mathis’ photographs document the altered sites to form a parallel body of work, eventually becoming the only remaining images of sites that no longer exist.
Carol Rogers (495 Rogers Avenue), 2012. Storefront interior: Brick, plaster lathe, molding, furring strips, paneling, plywood, drywall, paint, wood flooring, composite sub-flooring, linoleum tiles, luan. Dimensions variable. Photo: Amanda C. Mathis. Courtesy the artist.