Archive for the ‘shows’ Category
I created this project for a show celebrating the 100th anniversary of Dada. I made the #DadaTaroT deck out of two sets of images: 21 red wood and laser-etched cardboard symbol cards, and over 200 media image cards on laser-etched cardboard.
The method was simple: a pair of people (strangers, lovers, friends…) would be invited by the performers dressed in carnival-esque gear to each ask a question which they could not at that moment know the answer to. One person would ask (aloud or in silence) and then select one red card and two brown cards. The partner would then use the cards to attempt to answer the person’s question. Then they switch. I documented each one in rough and ready fashion with a photo and hastily hand-written notes. These are the results.
The Dadaists were coming out of the horror of WWI that left many of their generation feeling that life was meaningless and absurd: Religion, Government, Philosophy and Art seemed to have utterly failed to provide meaning in the context of that horror. The Dadaists embraced and exposed the absurdity.
I used Tarot because it seemed to be a perfect intersection of the randomness that a lot of dada art has employed through the use of games of chance together with a random assault of media and symbolism wherein we search for meaning. In the end it is about what each person brings to it and what they _want_ to find, but as in all interactions it’s not just our interpretations, but the interpretations of those around to us, or even close to us that have an effect. Our negotiation of those interpretations of our world together are what interests me as an artist. This exchange provided a platform for mini exchanges and negotiations of how we interpret our shared world.
So many interesting things happened during this project, only a few of which are visible in these records- the best of it was within the interaction. It is very much is about what people bring to it.
My problem as an artist has never been lack of ideas or even crafting skills. The real skill is deciding what is most important and when, what not to do, what to sacrifice, what to put the most time and effort into. Drawing itself is an act of selection- what line to place, what line to ignore, what line to emphasize, tweak, or ghost.
So right now I have a good problem for an artist- two shows at the same time. One I committed to months ago, but without a specific piece. Since I knew I could have more space for that show I prepared to spread out and create a larger installed environment. Then I was invited to be in a show in a museum just outside Zurich, Switzerland. They wanted a specific piece, and it is one I have to be there to put together. And they open two days apart.
Now that the Switzerland one is confirmed I’m turning back to the first one. Suddenly I have more constraints. Something that can run itself. Something smaller and easy to install. Still something interactive. In the case of this show, something both contemporary and Dada. I was intimately familiar with Dada before I left high school and I loved it then, but two more advanced art degrees have actually put me at more of a distance. So I dove back to the source. I re-read the manifestos, looked back at the beginnings and what motivated them. Suddenly an entire new interactive, small, easy to set up artwork burst out of my head. And it will work. And it comes right out of the unconscious pool of all the ideas I am constantly exploring. Better still, because the process of Dada involves some randomness, it will be fun and surprising to make. I’m excited.
When I have enough time and resources to do whatever I want without a burning idea starting in my mind and a place to put the result I do very little that gets finished. Give me a place, a time, and a single constraint or direction and suddenly my mind is on fire and my hands itching to create.
The “Living With Endangered Languages in the Information Age” show at Root Division is opening on the 7th! I will have my new mixed media sound installation Cultural Fabric Breathes Still there waiting for you.
Much thanks to curator Hanna Regev, the participants (who chose to remain anonymous), to technical collaborator Dan Garcia.
The space and the work were so wonderful together. I feel so fortunate to have been able to create this new installation for this space. “I am. And you?” was also a perfect theme for my work generally, so it was a good fit all around. They have asked if I would keep up the new work “Transparency” for the next show as well (centered around building community and communication), so there will be more chances for the general public (aside from hundreds of theater-goes) to see it.
I always love seeing people interact with my work and discovering what happens when the work comes together with a space and a unique group of people.
Did I mention the space is absolutely amazing? When I saw that piece of set (a huge factory wall which can be back-lit through the windows), the height of the ceilings, the space generally I knew I had to do a piece in that space.
So over the last couple days we put up Primary Text and my new work Transparency, created especially for the space and the “I am. And you?” show at Zspace. Primary Text is hung in this image (left), but not yet anchored. I’m excited to see that one in action Participation-wise.
Yesterday I finished creating a warp for Transparency (the up and down part of a weaving on the loom) over 15 feet long. It’s right in front of the windows, and the material you will be weaving into it is the colored gels theaters use over lights. You can just see the 3 cables I used to hang it.
Each person will answer a question and write it on the gels and weave it into the warp. They can also respond to someone else’s answer as if that person asked “and you?”. The physical result should be a kid of stained-glass window lit from behind.
I’ve been thinking a lot about ideas and experiences of introversion and extroversion, backstage/onstage/audience, the parts of ourselves we show differently in different company. Filtered selves, not fake, but you don’t let the same parts of yourself through to your coworkers as you do to your lover or your child or vice versa. One odd discovery is how many theatre performers are actually introverts offstage. Given the environment of the theatre and the way lights and windows an that set-piece were working I had to explore transparency and filters while using the visual materials of the theatre-space (sand-bags, lighting gels, a “set” of flat black). I’m excited to see how it all comes out when it’s been interacted with!
Please join us Monday night from 6-10 at ZSpace in San Francisco.
The envelope piece is…
Write Me for Art/Do you read me? (Disintermediation)
Mixed Media Participatory Installation: hand embroidery on cloth.
To create this piece I gave people (mostly strangers) around the country self-addressed stamped envelopes with personal questions inside and a description of the project, usually after a good conversation.
They were invited to write a short response in their own handwriting and send it back to me to become part of the project (also available to those following the artist online). The artist then hand embroidered every reply received by Jan 1, 2014, matching the color and handwriting as faithfully as possible.
The tablet piece on the table is…
Write Me for Art/ Do you read me? (digital mediation)
Mixed Media Participatory Installation: machine embroidery, print on fabric, acrylic, weights.
This piece includes text from the companion piece Write Me for Art/Do you read me? (Disintermediation), but also text taken by the artist from online social media.
*For those of you who are unable to handle these, if you did you would notice that the ones that are machine-embroidered were heavy (about the weight of a phone or tablet, a little heavier). Those objects corresponded to the text from the first piece (Disintermediation). The others were printed rather than embroidered, were light and the text was taken from online social media.
The piece in the background is Iteration #9 of Identity Tapestry.