From the Studio

thoughts on art and process in action from a contemporary artist

Archive for the ‘text’ Category

At College of the Redwoods

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img_1958Today Between the Lines (experience exchange) went up with the help of the head of the Black Student Union and the Professor heading the Book of the Year project. There are always hiccups, but now it looks exactly as it did in my mind and even though the official opening isn’t until Thursday it already had some participation.Some of the students who will get to participate are taking correspondence courses from prison, and I’m so glad I was able to get something of the piece to them, because having a place for their stories to be told is important.

My interview for the local NPR member station is here.  It doesn’t have the image and specific link yet, but it is the Feb, 21 one.

The piece works much like Scales did. Participants write a response to a writing prompt on a hand-painted paper and exchange it for someone else’s.  Then they read that person’s response and tie it to the frame which they feel it belongs most to (Repression, Expression, Privilege, Opportunity, Love, Hate (fear), Resistance, Compliance, Accepted, Suspected, Hardness, and Openness).  Being asked to place it not only gets them to read someone else’s experience, but it also gets them to think about it in the context of the themes in the book.

I wrestled a lot with the themes and questions.  I had to tailor the themes and questions for people who might not have read the book yet (half the students read it in the second semester), and also to make it approachable.  So much of what is wrong with the world that we need to change is things we cannot bring ourselves to engage with.  My job is to engage people, so I find myself walking the line of bringing up difficult issues in such a way that people can approach at their own speed, even in a way that seems fun and colorful.

I’ll show more about this new work later when I have more pictures of participation, but tonight I’m thinking about the screening of 13th at the college and the thoughtful, powerful discussion moderated by the Black Student Union afterwards.  The students I have met here have been wonderful and I am honored to be here.

in-process on “Between the Lines (Experience Exchange)”

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sprectrum-side These are the first set of “pages” for participants in Between the Lines (Experience Exchange) to write on.  The materials are translucent acrylics on vellum with bookbinding thread sewn into the tops to tie them into the structure.

The piece was commissioned by the College of the Redwoods for their annual Book of the Year celebration.  This year’s book is Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

The structure of the piece is a large sculpture created a s a physical framing of some of the book’s core concepts  (I saw them, but also based  on interviews with the author, reviews, and discussions with other people).  The questions also derive from the book, and will ask participants to respond with their own related experiences.

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#DadaTaroT @ open studios

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I did a less formal version of the #DadaTaroT piece at this fall’s open studios.  I am really enjoying this piece!  A lot of people asked some pretty intense questions, and many interesting interpretations and conversations arose.

A few odd things keep happening:  out of the (4?) times people have asked about Trump winning the election (the piece was made during the primaries), Elvis has been drawn three times out of the nearly 100 media cards.  What is one to make of that?

Another thing that has happened at least three times is that pairs of friends have picked the same card after the entire deck was shuffled.

Two groups went as three people together instead of a pair.

In this iteration, a questioner asked about the nature of the artist as a child, and the person answering was actually quite right.  Another person made an offhand comment that the questioner would get a tattoo on their hand… which it turned out they already had.  A surprising number of people asking about their own mortality.

Narratives upon narratives.

Apologies… the notes on the  two responses seems to be lost.  I’m working on recovery and will post them when and if I get them.

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 marycoreymarch

November 22, 2014 at 12:59 am

“I am. And You?” (Transparency and Primary Text)

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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.

Written by marycoreymarch

July 8, 2014 at 11:18 am

Installing for “I am. And you?

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IMG_5621Did 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.

Directions

Written by marycoreymarch

July 4, 2014 at 10:32 pm

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.