Michael Stipe Is Using NYU as His Art Studio

Michael Stipe.
Photo: © 2014 Patrick McMullan Company, Inc.

Artist and REM frontman Michael Stipe is getting his James Franco on. No, not by imitating the work of a seminal feminist artist (see “Why James Franco’s Cindy Sherman Homage at Pace Is Not Just Bad But Offensive“), but by teaching a class at New York University.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Stipe is an artist-in-residence and teacher at NYU’s Steinhardt Department of Art and Art Professions this fall. As part of his residency, he and collaborator Jonathan Berger have set up “New Sights, New Noise,” a collaborative curatorial endeavor, pop-up studio, and project space at NYU’s 80WSE Gallery. The exhibition will feature contributions from Douglas Coupland, Taryn Simon, and others, as well as BFA students in NYU’s Studio Arts program.

“The title ‘New Sights, New Noise’ refers directly to the glut and onslaught of information made available by the Internet, often without context or authorship; the disproportionate and impulsive reactions that it provokes, and the reckless cynicism of a 24hour news cycle…my desire would be to question how we can process all this and then employ, alter, or move beyond it altogether,” Stipe explains in the project’s description. “I see our work in class as an extended exercise in cutting through the muck and getting to the real thing: the students themselves, their passions, interests, and most importantly, how they process all of this, and create a contributing voice that is unique to them and to these times.”

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