From the Studio

thoughts on art and process in action from a contemporary artist

Archive for the ‘tech’ Category

Hidden Processes

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display sketchMy sketches are always like this- rough, scribbly, and somehow they work the best for me- loose enough for me to imagine different details.  But until the other  even the loosest sketch of the physical part of my Endangered Languages piece weren’t jelling enough for any sketch to make me happy.

I had been hitting a major wall with the work and it was keeping me up at night for weeks as I tossed image after image and idea after idea in my head.  Two days ago I had a great conversation with a friend that helped me break through.  He has helped me document my work in video and photography but more importantly he is always  a great person to brainstorm with (there are two pieces we’ve thought out together that I think need to be made as collaborative works).

The thing is the process is so often in the mind.  I visualize and discard so much before I start making these days.  Now without having physically built anything, I suddenly have a pretty clear picture of the finished piece.  Now that it’s there I can sketch and mock up and I can start building like a maniac.  I’m going to build a mock-up for size and relationship to the body before I build the main object.  I want to get the height and tilt angle that way.  It should recall natural history museum displays… but with some unexpected twists in action.

Another thing hidden (besides things in my brain) is the thoughts and concepts behind the work.  You will notice I don’t tend to explain my concepts here.  I have them, usually intensely thought out (what some people would consider over-thought out), but I want the concept to be experienced and seen and heard, not just explained before people see the actual work.  I want them to walk up and discover it, not come in with a thesis on it.  There is also a sort of delicacy in certain stages of creation, where if you explain too much (especially to the wrong people at the wrong time) it leeches the life out of it in your mind, or it kills your drive to make it.

At the same time, I love revealing the physical process.  I like to show the beauty and madness of the actual objects-in-progress and the physical experience of making the thing rather than explain everything up front.

You’ll notice the Academy of Sciences sticker in my sketchbook.  I went with my daughter after school to get a look at the display cases, both old and new.  When I go into a museums or place with the intent to take notes I always put the ticket or sticker or write the place at the top.  Sometimes the page is otherwise blank.

 

Written by Mary Corey March

November 22, 2014 at 12:59 am

Write Me for Art, installation at the Old Mint

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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.

Gala Night

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The Gala fundraiser opening for SFAI’s graduate thesis show. 

last participantThis photo is right when things were closing down.  I liked the stillness and being  able to clearly see all three pieces without the crowd.  It was a really great night.  I love  seeing people interact with the work!

My work for this show included Identity Tapestry (iteration#9)Write Me for Art/Do you read me? (Disintermediation), and Write Me for Art/ Do you read me? (digital mediation)

I poked my head out a little, but I haven’t seen the whole show yet.  I’m looking forward to a quiet viewing tomorrow.

Officially installed!

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install shotDone!  There is  more than this in the full installation (such as 40 more hand-embroidered messages), but this should give you an  idea.  Identity Tapestry is ready to go, the table is built, the tablets together and the envelopes hung.  All ready for visitors and participants.

Please join us at the Mint for the show this week! Details here:  http://www.sfai.edu/principal

Principal (SFAI’s MFA thesis exhibition)

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For those of you who joined me for Open Studios it  was wonderful, and an extra thank you to those of you who contributed to the beginning of a new participatory piece.  I hope you can all join me for my thesis show!

PRINCIPAL: MFA Exhibition

Thursday, May 15 Sunday, May 18, 2014
The Old Mint
88 5th Street at Mission
San Francisco, CA,
PUBLIC VIEWING HOURSThursday, May 15–Sunday, May 18
11 am–6 pm

Visitors are invited to meander through clandestine bank vaults and decadent ballrooms to uncover site-specific and multi-dimensional displays of work.

PUBLIC OPENING RECEPTIONFriday, May 16
7–9 pm
A-FP01-First Level[11]Here is your map to my work!  There will be two stories full of incredible art.  I will be showing Write Me for Art (for those of you who have been following that piece) and a new iteration of Identity Tapestry.  If you are in the Bay Area and have wanted to try that piece out, now is  your  chance!
Write me for Art has become two integrated pieces which I will install together.  It came from the many people who sent me replies in the mail to personal questions, all of which I have embroidered and included.March_Mary_01

Because I can, and Open Studios

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Setting up a test version of “Write Me For Art”. Really, this was the perfect height for setting up on stilts, which is way easier and faster. Sadly I’ll be hanging much higher at the Mint in a few weeks.

Tomorrow I’ll be at Open Studios at SFAI’s graduate center.

There will be the usual nibbles and drinks, but in my case there will be an interactive sound piece “Pulse”, created from the stories of San Franciscans.  What story will your pulse tell?

Also I will be working on a new Participatory piece, so if you choose you can become a part of it!

Graduate Open Studios
Saturday, April 19, 2014 – 12:00pm5:00pm
Third Street Graduate Center
2565 Third Street (between 22nd and 23rd)
San Francisco, CA
We are on the second floor.  Every Orange door is SFAI.  I’m in C7 (C -bay is just right of the lounge, 7 is the back right-hand studio). I find it easiest to take the entrance on 22nd St.
I hope to see you there!
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If you want to see the finished “Write me for Art” you’ll just have to come to the show next month at the Mint.

Written by Mary Corey March

April 19, 2014 at 11:12 am

Spring Shows and Events!

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     April 19th:         Open Studios 12-5PM   2565 Third Street (between 22nd and 23rd), SF, CA
                                   
May 2-4th:             Print Show at Mullowney Printing   933 Treat Street, SF, CA 94110

                                    * Opening on Friday the 2nd.

     May 14th-18th:      PRINCIPAL:  SFAI’s Graduate Thesis Exhibition


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SFAI Graduate Open Studios: http://www.sfai.edu/openstudios

This is your chance to get a peek into the process.

Navigational Tip:   There is an entrance at 22nd street.  Go to the second floor.  Every Orange door on the floor is an SFAI facility. 

I am in Bay C (just to the right of the lounge) in a lovely corner spot in #7 in the back right. 

I will send out more information on the second two events as they approach.  I hope to see you at the Open Studios!  I will have an interactive piece running in the studio as well as a Participatory piece you can contribute to.

The Grid and the Weave

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disrupted grid1smIn entering a new media I’ve given myself the focus of concentrating on the abstract forms of the Weave and the Grid in an exploration of the digital and the organic, order and disorder, structure and entropy.  I’m also sticking to plates of a 18″ x 24″ (the size of both the largest acid bath and laser bed.

I’m LOVING this project. It’s very freeing to explore ideas in a purely abstract form.  So far I have 3 laser-cut plates I’m happy with (one etch on acrylic, one grid cut out of acrylic and one block out of MDF).  I’ve also hand-carved a weave in wood.

It’s so refreshing to enter a new media without knowing the “rules” of that medium.  Today I experimented with adding ink in gestural marks onto the plate after the nice clean layer was put on with the roller. Once it goes through once and then gets rollered over again you get this gorgeous ghostly watercolor look (in the dark grey layer here).  I’m also loving adding string resist into the work.

So far I have around 30 individual pieces, many of them still getting layered up.  I’m not doing nearly identical “editions” in the convention of printmaking.  I don’t see the point.  Each of these is absolutely original.  I’ll be painting over some of the ones I’ve printed on canvas, sewing through them… there really aren’t limits to this.

The next plate that will enter this mix will be on copper- layers of cloth texture in soft ground, spit-bite and hand etching a delicate weave.  weave2sm

Written by Mary Corey March

March 15, 2014 at 10:26 am

Targeted ads as Portraits

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ad portraitContinuing in the thread of the digitally-mediated person (Binary Portraits, the Write me for Art Project, etc.) this idea came to me the other day.  I think a series is in order, but it requires the person I’m doing the portrait of to let me take all the ads from their computer that I find as they do their regular day’s navigation online

Advertizing companies get a ton of information about us as we browse (Google) or buy (Amazon).  They know what we look at and what we click on, what we are interested in, what movies and shows we watch and what we take home.  They know if you watch porn, or give money to charity.  It’s all there and they give us ads and “suggestions” based on that activity.  The line between “suggestions” and targeted ads is so blurry I think it’s really not there.

Topher ad Portrait2So… all this leaves a kind of portrait behind in the ads we get.  When I sign into my art-only Facebook I get ads for “mature and intelligent men” because it thinks I’m single because I can’t list my husband as my husband because he’s already married to my personal Facebook identity.  I assume I get diet stuff because I’m female (since I never diet), but it may be because I’ve ordered “large” in tights (I’m tall with long legs and not super skinny).  I didn’t find any the day I was doing this, but sometimes my husband gets ads targeted at gay men, usually when he’s been looking at a lot of interior design sites.  Who knows what all of this is based on?  Every click goes into the calculations.

Here you have us both as seen by the advertising computers.  This is what they think we are and want.

Written by Mary Corey March

February 3, 2014 at 5:57 am

Posted in art, digital, drawing, societal, tech

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Pulse Project

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pulse

If you are wondering what you are looking at, it is my newest Interactive and Participatory piece and my first proper sound installation as shown at The LAB, SAn Francisco in the recent show Cubic (Sounds)2.

Visitors are invited to place a finger on the pulse sensor to have their pulse taken. This triggers the audio aspect of the piece: a story of a San Francisco Moment recorded from someone in San Francisco whose pulse matches theirs. The sound of the story is played by a the flask of Bay salt water using a vibrating piezo plate to convert it into a speaker.  The grey material is cotton cloth sculpted in a rough impression of San Francisco topography with a few major streets embroidered in red.

In the end the project worked and was well received.  I’m sorry to say that during most of the opening it was almost impossible to hear though.  Even when I made an exception for the opening and added a conventional speaker under the table to compete with the sound from the other sound installations in the echoing space it was too quiet once the room was full of talking people.  Still, for the rest of the show and at the beginning and end of the opening you could hear it and it ran beautifully.

This is a piece I would love to re-work and do again in a quieter space.  In a quiet space the flask of water speaks to you quietly, but audibly- intimately.

 

 

Written by Mary Corey March

December 8, 2013 at 10:31 am