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John Powers
Attended Pratt Institute
Lives in New York, NY
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John Powers

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Selma Alabama, 1965, According to The Rev Robert Leonard Powers
My sisters Sarah, Rachel and I crossing The Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma Alabama, March 8th, 2015 I traveled to Selma Alabama this past weekend to meet my two older sisters Sarah and Rachel, to witness the 50th  anniversary  of Bloody Sunday. We went, beca...
My sisters Sarah, Rachel and I crossing The Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma Alabama, March 8th, 2015 I traveled to Selma Alabama this past weekend to meet my two older sisters Sarah and Rachel, to witness the 50th anniversar...
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2H2K - August 2050 - “No faiR"
MUDC work train on the 3rd Avenue El .  [This is the sixth short story in a series,   the 1st story is  here , the 2nd is  here , the 3rd is  here , the 4th  here , and  the fifth .]   His phone vibrated a warning.  Rush hour.  Dean realized. He could feel ...
MUDC work train on the 3rd Avenue El. [This is the sixth short story in a series, the 1st story is here, the 2nd is here, the 3rd is here, the 4th here, and the fifth.]  His phone vibrated a warning. Rush hour. Dean realized...
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2H2K - August 2050 - “No faiR”
MUDC work train on the 3rd Avenue El .  [This is the sixth short story in a series,   the 1st story is  here , the 2nd is  here , the 3rd is  here , the 4th  here , and the fifth .]   His phone vibrated a warning. Rush hour.  Dean realized. He could feel th...
MUDC work train on the 3rd Avenue El. [This is the sixth short story in a series, the 1st story is here, the 2nd is here, the 3rd is here, the 4th here, and the fifth.]  His phone vibrated a warning. Rush hour. Dean realized...
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The People's History of Tattooine is easily the best fan fic I've ever read. 
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I had a great time at Whitman College, and was pleased to see what a great job the student paper did putting this video together (well done Tywen).
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Update: The Star Wars Logo Actually Is fascist.
I'm giving a talk on Star Wars at Whitman college next week, so I was excited to see  Chris Taylor speak last night at Seattle's' Town Hall about his new book, How Star Wars Conquered the Universe . It turned out to be the first stop on his first book tour ...
I'm giving a talk on Star Wars at Whitman college next week, so I was excited to see Chris Taylor speak last night at Seattle's' Town Hall about his new book, How Star Wars Conquered the Universe. It turned out to be the firs...
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This is amazing - and yeah,the AT&T story seems more and more likely - although I'm still really attached to my NASA red worm logo theory...
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John Powers

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I wrote a short piece for Hyperallergic on Robert Irwin's new Chinati Foundation project. 
A couple of weeks ago, I went to 101 Spring Street, the former home and studio of Donald Judd, to hear about a new Robert Irwin project to be built at the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas.
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2H2K - August 2050 - #adviceforyoungjournalists - An Introduction:
The Craven Family, Peter Manzel (2001) . When I started working on this series of short stories about the second half [2H] of the 21st century [2K] I asked my friend Felix Salmon : "What kind of company would the 'Felix Salmon of 2050' work for, and what wi...
The Craven Family, Peter Manzel (2001) . When I started working on this series of short stories about the second half [2H] of the 21st century [2K] I asked my friend Felix Salmon: "What kind of company would the 'Felix Salmon...
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My new article, with +John Powers: "Artists vs. Start-Ups" — http://canvas.grolsch.com/news/john-powers-artists-vs-start-ups
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I finished David Graeber's book, Debt: The First 5000 Years, a week or so ago. I found it idea and fact rich, and an enjoyable read. I'd lump it with Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs. and Steel, Charles Mann's 1491 and Francis Fukuyama's The Origins of Political Order - odd bedfellows, but all books I very much enjoyed. I immediately suggested it to a friend with a background in economics/finance, and was a little surprised when he he told me he would avoid everything Graeber writes like the plague, and then he sent me this link: 

http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2013/01/the-very-last-david-graeber-post.html

...and then yesterday my friend sent me another more recent post (which poses as a critical review, but is so lame-brained and trolly, I cannot in good conscience include link to it.)

For those who don't click through, DeLong's post pretty damning, if you consider factual errors, like switching Apple for HP and botching the exact structure of the Federal Reserve Bank, damning. For my friend the errors, and to be fair there are more than two (and some of them seem like real whoppers), were beyond the pale. For him, they totally delegitimized everything else Graeber says - anywhere. Ever.

I contacted a another friend, a Leftist writer and a personal friend of Graeber's, to ask what he had made of Debt, and to find out if he knew about the kerfuffle, and what he thought of it all. Turns out he hadn't read Debt (they aren't close friends - acquaintances really), but he wasn't surprised by the mistakes or the backlash. He wrote:

"Sounds like there are some factual errors. Any lefty book that gets any traction tends to get this treatment. They came up with a list of a huge number of minor factual errors in Robert Fisk's giant book on the middle east, for example. So I think that Graeber's right about the delegitimization process. Do other big, ambitious books not contain lots of minor factual errors? I would imagine that they do, based on the kinds of mistakes I find when I read things I know about."

That was kind of what I expected to hear. My Leftist friend see's Graeber being rejected by those "with a vested interest in a) ignoring his arguments and b) keeping him out of the legit thinkers' club."

I would not put my economics/finance friend in that category however. He's a very smart guy, one of the smartest I know; and as far as I can tell, not terribly ideological. So my take on the critical backlash (my friend's included) was slightly different. As an artist I sometime opine about maters that I have no legitimate authority to speak about. I talk about movies, or architecture, or democracy - all things a sculptor has no real business weighing in on - at least according to many (but not all) those who think and speak about those matters professionally - with authority.

I find when I speak about art history I am met by a certain amount of resistance by art historians - for instance - who do not appreciate my unconventional view, but are far more irked by my sloppy scholarship. And make no mistake, my scholarship is sloppy.

My feeling is, what happened with Graeber, is a bigger version of what I have experienced. Graeber is not an economist, he's an anthropologist, and he wrote about the origins of MONEY; argued that economists get it exactly WRONG. Worst of all he is persuasive, even compelling.

On a number of occasions in Debt, Graeber brings up the passage of the Lord's Prayer that say “forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors" - but that's no the version I grew up with. My father was an Episcopalian priest and the way I was taught the prayer was "Forgive us Our Trespasses, as we Forgive those who Trespass against Us." That, to my mind, was Graeber's great sin, that is what has his economist critics so upset. They may as well ned their posts with a warning to all other would-be-Graebers:

Trespassers Will be Shot.
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I've been anxiously looking forward to having enough free time to read it, together with Thomas Piketti's Capital...
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The Stratified Future
Ralph McQuarrie matte painting of the desert and the void (1977); Skyscraper Index - up to 1974.   Preparing for a  talk at Whitman last week,  a post on ello by @doingitwrong that mentioned the  Skyscraper Index brought to mind a talk I gave a few years ag...
Ralph McQuarrie matte painting of the desert and the void (1977); Skyscraper Index - up to 1974.  Preparing for a talk at Whitman last week, a post on ello by @doingitwrong that mentioned the Skyscraper Index brought to mind ...
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2H2K - July 2050 - “Chuck Close”
iAroki walking Benji, the family dog  (1977) Chuck Close was a small, compact, terrier-mutt with a shaggy coat of coarse dark grey hair and a slight under bite. Although she herself had never had the courage to kill one, Chuck was the descendant of working ...
iAroki walking Benji, the family dog (1977) Chuck Close was a small, compact, terrier-mutt with a shaggy coat of coarse dark grey hair and a slight under bite. Although she herself had never had the courage to kill one, Chuck...
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People
In his circles
238 people
Have him in circles
629 people
Sue Strande's profile photo
Donald Gialanella's profile photo
Kevin Mesler's profile photo
Paal Hansen's profile photo
jesus gonzalez's profile photo
Steven Mesler's profile photo
darien train's profile photo
Phantom Street Artist's profile photo
Joseph K. Levene's profile photo
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Artist
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  • Artist, present
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Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
New York, NY
Previously
Chicago, Il - Chimicaum, Wa
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Introduction
Born in Chicago IL. Lived in Chimacum WA. Moved to New York City, where I live. My studio is in Brooklyn. 
Bragging rights
...it will come to me.
Education
  • Pratt Institute
    Fine Art
  • Hunter College
    Fine Art
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Male