Spotlight Minis: Art, Books, & Music

Local Art That Matters
The Panoptos robot camera in action at the Henry

Meet Your Marker
ARTIST: John Sutton of local installation art trio SuttonBeresCuller

SHOW: Panoptos, for which the group has raided the Henry Art Gallery’s permanent collection, hung a selection of art salon style (floor to ceiling), and constructed a custom-made apparatus that holds a high-def camera and moves on an X/Y axis. Viewers operate the camera—either on site or remotely online—to zoom in on artwork of their choosing. see it: Through 2/13/2011 at Henry Art Gallery, 15th Avenue NE and 41st Street; 206.543.2280; henryart.org

BD: What exactly is going on here?
JS: It’s about how art is viewed and experienced, and a desire to play with traditional parameters. Thinking about how much people’s exposure to art these days is in the form of a low-resolution jpeg, we wanted to create an interactive way to view the works in the collection with up-close, detailed views normally overlooked as part of the whole. As in much of our work, we’re striving to give viewers a participatory, intimate experience. In the gallery, people will see the machine navigating the artwork for viewers operating it remotely. The cumulative work made from the collected viewer selections will reveal a map of points of interest. Also: It is our first robot.


/Let’s Do the Time Warp
A new book by a Seattle author explains the allure of the old

Scanning our city’s current pop culture obsessions—canning, classic cocktails, bushy facial hair, roots music, circus arts, all manner of crafting—you might well wonder what century it is. But the local resurgence in old-school Americana is part of a national trend, one thoroughly and captivatingly mapped by Seattle writer Kurt B. Reighley (who has written for No Depression and The Stranger and is also a DJ at KEXP) in his new book United States of Americana: Backyard Chickens, Burlesque Beauties and Handmade Bitters: A Field Guide to the New American Roots Movement (Harper; $14.99). (Maybe really long titles hark back to days of yore, too?) Reighley traces the new old school via extensive research including interviews with urban farmers, barbers and grandpa-chic clothiers (such as Filson), and offers tips for those eager to grasp the artisanal brass ring. Perhaps Reighley’s chronicle flows with such ease and enticement because he’s a practitioner himself: He is reportedly reproducing a series of classic LP covers in 18-gauge needlepoint.


/In The Air
Hollow Earth Radio burrows into a new home

Hey, you in the KEXP T-shirt! So you think you’re into alternative radio? You don’t know alternative until you’ve tuned in to Hollow Earth Radio (hollowearthradio.org), Seattle’s all-volunteer indie radio station that broadcasts only online. Those of us lucky enough to have had an awesome college radio station (rock on, WTJU!) will recognize the vibe immediately: The DJs are unpolished in an endearing way, they play what they feel like playing, from lesser-known local bands such as Degenerate Art Ensemble to Ozzy Osbourne, and sometimes a whole bunch of songs in a row from the same artist. There’s a little more dead air, and odd meanderings, such as what people eat for lunch—it feels like a radio show your friends would