Daniel Alarcón wrote a fable called The Thousands. It was published in McSweeney’s 28. For those who aren’t readers of random literary journals, McSweeney’s is a literary journal founded by writer Dave Eggers. It’s kind of a quirky literary journal for hipsters, and I mean that in a good way. McSweeney’s is the only literary journal I read.

McSweeney’s 28 arrived at my doorstep, I felt a bit jipped. Instead of a couple hundred pages of literary awesomeness, this issue was made up of 8 tiny books of 16 pages each and full of illustrations. Turns out, it wasn’t really fair of me to say that I expected a certain page count for my money. This issue particular of McSweeney’s is now one of my all time favorites. Why?

Pretty much entirely because of The Thousands (not that the rest of the issue was bad, I just particularly love this story). Alarcón’s fable is about a group that takes over abandoned lands outside of a large city using discarded materials. It’s beautiful and if you can find a copy, you should read it. At first, I was reminded of Swoon’s Swimming Cities project.

Then I had to come up with a name for this exhibition I knew I was curating. A few people suggested that I try to come up with a name like The Young British Artists or Beautiful Losers. I didn’t know it at the time, but it turns out the name Beautiful Losers was also stolen from a book while the curator was in a bit of a panic searching for a title. A friend suggested that I look at books for inspiration. I had The Thousands just sitting on my desk, and after rereading the story, my exhibition’s name was obvious.

So thanks to Daniel Alarcón for writing such an amazing story.


Been getting some great publicity thanks to a few of my favorite blogs. Thanks to everybody who has been talking about The Thousands.

Here’s a sample:

This week I’ve been hard at work on the companion book to The Thousands, to be published by Drago Lab. I probably ought to have more of it done by now, but I’m getting there. Some of it is turning out very cool thanks to a few guest writers who will be contributing sections and the forward will be written by one of my favorite people in the art world, but other bits are a bit confusing and slower moving.

When I met with the guys from Drago in Rome earlier this summer, I’d mentioned the possibility of a book to them, but hadn’t discussed it much. So I brought it up over drinks. I think Paulo, Drago’s founder, was the first person to honestly believe that I was going to be curating The Thousands and that it wasn’t just a pipe dream. Why is that? We were talking about how I knew the show would lose money, and Paulo said something along the lines up “You should film a documentary of the process. That way you can sell that, and if things don’t work out, that film could sell too.” I think he was half joking. Most people just said “Good luck and I’ll see you at the opening.” Paulo was the first guy to say to me: “You know this might be a spectacular failure right?”

Luckily, I knew The Thousands might be a spectacular failure and so far it is isn’t looking like it will be.

At the end of the day, The Thousands is going to be losing a pretty large amount of money. Putting on an art exhibition isn’t cheap, and just selling a book isn’t going to back everything back. Luckily, I’ve got people who will loan me the money to put on The Thousands, and I’ll pay it back to them over time. Honestly though, I’d rather not use all the extra money I have for the next two years paying back people for The Thousands.

So, I’m looking for a company that might want to gimme some money. If you know a company that might want to sponsor The Thousands, get in touch with me by email: rj(a-t)vandalog.com.

As you may have seen today on the awesome Arrested Motion blog, I’ve got a few new artworks to reveal as part of The Thousands (from WK-Interact, Faile, Know Hope and Chris Stain). You can check those images out there, because this post is about what AM has brought me and I’m trying to send them a tiny amount of traffic back.

Since Elisa Carmichael’s post on AM about The Thousands has gone online, three collectors have emailed me offering to loan artwork to The Thousands. And all three of those collectors’ works could potentially end up being shown. I think this is the first post about The Thousands on an outside blog that hasn’t mentioned that I’m still looking for artwork (not for very much longer by the way, the show is getting pretty full depending on a few things being confirmed), but it has provoked the strongest response in terms of numbers. Marketing is a funny thing.

Here’s a new video of Know Hope (with help from Chris Stain) painting a piece in New York City. Both Know Hope and Chris Stain will have work in The Thousands, so it’s cool to see them painting this piece together.

Via Juxtapoz

One thing that I am working towards with The Thousands is the support of most or all of the artists whose work will be on display. The Thousands isn’t for me and I don’t want to upset any street artists by organizing it, particularly not the artists that I most admire and whose work I want to share with a wider audience.

That really means getting in touch with these artists directly (when possible) and making sure they like the idea of The Thousands and want to be involved. Now, some artists will probably say no, and that’s fine, and in some cases I’ll abide by the artist’s wishes and take them out of the exhibition. In others I may have to just upset one artist for the great good of the show and all the other artists that will be included. Of course, that’s not ideal at all, and hopefully none of the artists will object to their inclusion in The Thousands (so far everybody has been super supportive), but I think that’s the best strategy for the exhibition, the artists, and the collectors loaning me the most prized pieces of their collection.

Nobody and nothing is perfect, so The Thousands might not be that completely pure and beautiful exhibition that we’re all hoping for, but I’m definitely working my butt off to get it as close to that ideal as possible.

Does that sound fair to everybody?