Author Archives: marshall reese

The Truth Will Set You Free

At the end of 2017, one year into the Trump presidency, the familiar begins to escape us.

The Autocrat's Language

"Using words to lie destroys language. Using words to cover up lies, however subtly, destroys language. Validating incomprehensible drivel with polite reaction also destroys language. This isn’t merely a question of the prestige of the writing art or the credibility of the journalistic trade: it is about the basic survival of the public sphere.

In Russia, first they came for the words of politics, value, and passion. Then they came for the words of action, the words that describe buildings, the numbers that denote dates. And then there were no words left to speak. Not that this is a Russian phenomenon.

Here is what Confucius had to say on the topic:

If language is not correct, then what is said is not what is meant; if what is said is not what is meant, then what must be done remains undone; if this remains undone, morals and art will deteriorate; if justice goes astray, the people will stand about in helpless confusion. Hence there must be no arbitrariness in what is said. This matters above everything."

-- Masha Gessen, The Autocrat's Language, NYRDaily

RSS What Donald Trump Says

  • Donald Trump - Donald Trump said Chrysler is leaving Mexico. It isn't January 18, 2018
    The Truth-o-Meter says: Half-True | Donald Trump said Chrysler is leaving Mexico. It isn't Several automakers have unveiled hefty plans to expand in the United States in recent weeks. Toyota and Mazda teamed up to open a $1.6 billion factory in Alabama by 2021. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced it would put $1 billion into its […]
  • Donald Trump - Would the military shut down if the federal government does? January 17, 2018
    The Truth-o-Meter says: Mostly False | Would the military shut down if the federal government does? As a possible government shutdown loomed, President Donald Trump preemptively blamed Democrats for any negative fallout. Trump charged that Democratic intransigence about how to renew Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, was preventing an agreement on federal spending […]
  • Donald Trump - Trump wrongly faults Obama for London embassy move January 12, 2018
    The Truth-o-Meter says: Mostly False | Trump wrongly faults Obama for London embassy move President Donald Trump isn’t going to London any time soon. Planning was under way for a February visit, when it was thought Trump would officially open the new U.S. embassy in London. Trump scuttled those plans in no uncertain terms. "Reason […]
  • Donald Trump - Did Obama say he didn't have the right to issue DACA? January 9, 2018
    The Truth-o-Meter says: Mostly False | Did Obama say he didn't have the right to issue DACA? President Donald Trump sat with congressional leaders for an open conversation about cutting a deal on the fate of about 700,000 undocumented young immigrants whose parents brought them to America as small children. Trump said last September that […]
  • Donald Trump - Is Donald Trump right that the Dow Jones just had its fastest-ever 1,000-point jump? January 8, 2018
    The Truth-o-Meter says: True | Is Donald Trump right that the Dow Jones just had its fastest-ever 1,000-point jump? In the wake of the Dow Jones Industrial Average reaching the 25,000-point landmark, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to tout a new record. "Dow goes from 18,589 on November 9, 2016, to 25,075 today, for […]
  • Donald Trump - How accurate is Donald Trump about black, Hispanic unemployment? January 8, 2018
    The Truth-o-Meter says: Mostly True | How accurate is Donald Trump about black, Hispanic unemployment? President Donald Trump and his team found several positives to tout from the newest round of employment numbers. On Jan. 5, the day the new numbers were released, presidential daughter and White House official Ivanka Trump tweeted, "The unemployment rate […]
  • Donald Trump - Did Fire and Fury author Michael Wolff have access to the White House? January 5, 2018
    The Truth-o-Meter says: False | Did Fire and Fury author Michael Wolff have access to the White House? The Trump administration has scrambled to control damaging headlines based on Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, which was rushed to shelves Jan. 5 over threats from President Donald Trump’s attorneys. For his […]
  • Donald Trump - Donald Trump blames Democratic states on lack of data showing voter fraud January 5, 2018
    The Truth-o-Meter says: Half-True | Donald Trump blames Democratic states on lack of data showing voter fraud President Donald Trump blamed Democratic states for the demise of his voter fraud commission. "Many mostly Democrat States refused to hand over data from the 2016 Election to the Commission On Voter Fraud," Trump tweeted Jan. 4. "They […]
  • Donald Trump - Donald Trump says there's 'substantial evidence of voter fraud.' There isn't January 4, 2018
    The Truth-o-Meter says: False | Donald Trump says there's 'substantial evidence of voter fraud.' There isn't President Donald Trump is closing the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, a panel to investigate voter fraud that had attracted controversy during its short life. The commission -- headed by Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of […]
  • Donald Trump - White House is misleading by citing only cuts, not hikes, in tax bill January 3, 2018
    The Truth-o-Meter says: Mostly False | White House is misleading by citing only cuts, not hikes, in tax bill In its "1600 Daily" email to supporters and members of the public, the White House touted the tax bill that President Donald Trump signed in late December as a highlight of 2017. The email said that […]
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Live Stream January 20, 2018

TRUTH BE TOLD – unveiling on 3 PM, January 20, 2018, first anniversary of the Trump inauguration, at Jim Kempner Fine Art 501 West 23 Street, NY, NY, and streaming live until it’s gone.

This is the sixth in a series we’ve done since 2006. The temporary monuments of Melted Away are markers for the opening decades of the 21st century – first, DEMOCRACY is broken, then, the ECONOMY ruined; the MIDDLE CLASS disappears, THE FUTURE is tenuous, THE AMERICAN DREAM vanishes, and TRUTH remains an open question.

Site is visible from the street at all times, 24/7. We will be streaming LIVE for the duration, at meltedaway.com, on Facebook Live and on a network of galleries in North America. (Participating venues listed below.) Comments welcome – on Twitter @melted_away, Instagram @meltedaway, and on the Facebook Live feed.

The work will last for days, one week, possibly longer, in an almost imperceptible disintegration that belies the force and speed at which the current administration is attempting to undermine the basic concepts of our nation’s history and governance.

Jim Kempner Fine Art is located at 501 West 23 Street, corner of 10 Avenue and 23 Street.

Thanks to net neutrality the entirety of TRUTH BE TOLD is streaming at these galleries, universities, institutions and museums:

  • ArtsEverywhere
  • Catharine Clark Gallery
  • Contemporary Art Museum, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida
  • Eyebeam
  • Harbourfront Centre
  • Institute of the Arts and Sciences and the Digital Art/New Media MFA Program of UC Santa Cruz Arts Division
  • Nevada Museum of Art
  • San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art
  • Streaming Museum
  • Division of Media Arts + Practice, School of Cinematic Arts, University of Southern California
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Polis is eyes

Up to 12 writers in each city have been invited to visit the site and stay for 2 hours.  LigoranoReese have asked them to share their thoughts about the disappearance of the American Dream. This part of the project stems from the idea that direct participation comes from active perception, apprehending the moment and leads to democratic action.

Commentary will be posted in realtime here on the meltedaway website and reblogged to ArtsEverywhere.

Poet and writer cris cheek is the Residency Coordinator. This part of the project is supported by the Musagetes Foundation.

Writers Cleveland

Mary Barrett, cris cheek, Carla Harryman, Justin Glanville, Daniel Gray-Kontar,
Janice A. Lowe, Julie Patton, Mary E. Weems

Writers Philadelphia

Josh Adler, cris cheek, Ryan Eckes, Knar Gavin, Anna Maria Hong,
Cyree Jarelle Johnson, Julia Lopez, Bob Perelman, Ariel Resnikoff, Frank Sherlock,
Kirwyn Sutherland, Orchid Tierney and others

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Beginning with The Future

With Dawn of the Anthropocene, LigoranoReese started inviting writers to visit the meltdowns to write what they saw and felt. Their texts were uploaded in real-time as they wrote them to this website.

Todd Lester was residency manager; invitees included Charles Bernstein, Chantal Bilodeau  Joshua Furst, Konstantin Prishep, Ryan Schlief, Mira Schor, James Sherry, Nikki Singleton, and John Weir.

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Voices from the Future

The public addresses what the future looks like. On September 21, 2014 we installed a 3,500 pound ice sculpture of the words The Future at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and 23 Street in New York. This video is a sample of some of the public’s reactions to it.

“When you begin to witness the rapid changes occurring on the planet, rising temperatures, increasing droughts, the extinction of vast numbers of species, you think about loss and disappearance,” Marshall Reese says. “Ice is the perfect material for bringing awareness of what that kind of change means.”

We call the piece ‘Dawn of the Anthropocene’ to describe the effect of humanity on the Earth’s systems. The term comes from Nobel prize scientist Paul Crutzen. In his and other scientists’ view, humanity has entered an age when the power and impact of humans is as great, if not greater, than nature’s.

Sculpture Design – Nora Ligorano; Cinematographer – Ben Wolf; Editor – Marshall Reese; Music – Tree Laboratory; Ice Sculpture – Okamoto Studio

For more information:
Sound design: Tree Laboratory
Climate Action partner: 350.org

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