Screening + Conversation

Please join EAI for a special evening with Jayson Scott Musson, the artist behind the viral video performance phenomenon Hennessy Youngman.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012
6:30 pm

Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI)
535 West 22nd Street, 5th floor
New York, NY 10011


Admission $ 7.00 / Students $ 5.00
Free for EAI Members
RSVP: rsvp@eai.org

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EAI is pleased to present a screening and conversation with artist Jayson Scott Musson. Speaking about his work for the first time in New York, Musson will discuss ART THOUGHTZ, the episodic Internet series that he hosts as Hennessy Youngman. Musson will premiere two new ART THOUGHTZ videos at EAI—The Studio Visit (2012) and Grad School (2012)—in addition to screening earlier works from the series, including Bruce Nauman (2010), How To Be A Successful Artist (2010), On Beauty (2011), and Relational Aesthetics (2011), among others.

In ART THOUGHTZ—a series of short, talking-head addresses posted on YouTube—Hennessy Youngman offers his irreverent views on topics such as post-structuralism, institutional critique, race in the art world, and the commodification of art. Through Hennessy Youngman, Musson critiques the exclusionary language of art discourse using hip-hop culture's vernacular, hilariously pitting hip-hop and art world idioms against each other in a dual parody of cultural clichés. (The character's name plays on the comedian Henny Youngman, famous for his one-liners, and a cognac that is a status symbol in the hip-hop world.)

In writing, performance and visual art that incisively satirizes and blurs pop culture and the art world, Musson provokes the boundaries that define cultural and racial stereotypes. A major theme of Musson's work is African-American social identity, recognizing "blackness" as a role conferred by a history of discrimination. Musson inhabits certain racial stereotypes in order to displace them and conjure a more ambivalent identity, one that comes closer to reflecting his personal experience of being black. ART THOUGHTZ contrasts Hennessy Youngman's identity as an outsider with the insider game of the art world, further expressing his experience of a segregated culture. Musson's consideration of a public extends beyond the confines of art institutions, deliberately entering the open arenas of mass media. Through YouTube, Musson has circumvented the art world's normal route to exposure and reached a mass audience on his own terms.

Joining in a conversation with Josh Kline of EAI following the screening, Musson will speak about the origins of Hennessy Youngman—how he developed the character's comedic persona as a critical voice, how making rap music influenced his work as an artist, and about his use of the Internet as a platform for direct video performance.

Jayson Scott Musson's work is now available through EAI's distribution service. For more information, please click here.


Jayson Scott Musson was born in Bronx, NY in 1977. He received a BFA in photography from University of the Arts and an MFA in painting from the University of Pennsylvania, both in Philadelphia. He attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, ME in 2011. His solo exhibitions include The Grand Manner at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia (2011); Neoteny/The Hard Sell at Marginal Utility Gallery, Philadelphia (2011); and Too Black For BET, Dazed & Confused Magazine Gallery, London, England (2008). His work has been included in group exhibitions at Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; Postmasters, New York; David Castillo Gallery, Miami, FL; West Galerie, Den Haag, The Netherlands; Somerset County Jail, Skowhegan; Grimmuseum, Berlin, Germany; and Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, among others. His video pieces have been screened at venues including Momenta Art, Brooklyn, and Cottage Home Gallery, Los Angeles.

In 2012 Musson curated the exhibition project It's a Small, Small World at Family Business in New York. He has performed and lectured at numerous venues, including Performa 11, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Pratt Institute, Brooklyn; Concordia University, Montreal, Canada; Museum of Modern Art, Ft. Worth, TX; University of Cincinnati, OH; and Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia. In 2001 Musson formed the hip-hop group Plastic Little with Kurt Hunte.

Musson lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.


Also coming up:

Raymond Pettibon: Sir Drone
EAI Screening @ Migrating Forms Festival

Wednesday, May 16, 2012, 9:15 pm

Migrating Forms
at Anthology Film Archives
32 2nd Avenue
New York, NY 10003

EAI presents Raymond Pettibon's Sir Drone (1989), featuring Mike Kelley, at Migrating Forms. With Kelley, Pettibon was close to the West Coast punk bands of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Shot in two days, with dialogue read off cue cards, Pettibon's deliberately crude, low-tech video narrative is part of a series of irreverent tales of 1960s and '70s West Coast radical subcultures. These wildly ironic, deadpan dramas feature an ensemble of luminaries from L.A.'s post-punk underground. In Sir Drone, Kelley and musician Mike Watt play two teenage punks trying to start a band in the 1970s. They struggle to create the right image for themselves and their band, debating bands' names, the distinctions of punk and hippie music, and strategies to avoid being "rinky dink."

Sir Drone will be accompanied by two lo-fi works by Cory Arcangel, both involving teenagers and music: Insectiside (1992-03) and Message my Brother Justin Left Me on my Cell from the Slayer Concert Last Week (2004).

For more information, please click here.


About EAI

Founded in 1971, Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) is one of the world's leading nonprofit resources for video art. A pioneering advocate for media art and artists, EAI fosters the creation, exhibition, distribution, and preservation of video art and digital art. EAI's core program is the distribution and preservation of a major collection of over 3,500 new and historical media works by artists. EAI's activities include viewing access, educational services, extensive online resources, and public programs such as artists' talks, exhibitions and panels. The Online Catalogue is a comprehensive resource on the artists and works in the EAI collection, and also features extensive materials on exhibiting, collecting and preserving media art: www.eai.org

Visit Circa 1971: Early Video & Film from the EAI Archive, an exhibition of 20 moving-image works at Dia:Beacon, organized on the occasion of EAI's 40th Anniversary.


Electronic Arts Intermix
535 West 22nd Street, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10011
t (212) 337-0680
f (212) 337-0679

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This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.