Leaving Here, Being There

Last night, Pete Hawkes and I had the opening reception for our show–Leaving Here, Being There–in the UCLA Broad Art Center. I am happy with how the show turned out, and it was great getting a chance to talk to new and familiar people about the work.

An excellent Art MFA show also opened in the nearby New Wight Gallery.

Documentation of individual projects will go up over the next week, after Pete and I go in with a tripod to take photos of the work. For now, here are a few photos from the opening.

Leaving Here, Being There opening
Destinations installation view
Trace from above
Reasons for leaving diagrams

Sustainable Inkjet Papers

After seeing that all the cool kids were printing with Hahnemühle photo rag, I decided to have a look at their papers. It turns out that in addition to their standard cotton papers, they make some papers with Bamboo and Sugar Cane as part of their green rooster environmental initiative. I’m all for trying to make work responsibly, so I ordered a few sizes of each. As I discover other responsible inkjet papers, I’ll post them here.

bamboo image

One thing I’m also looking forward to is the “unsurpassed feeling of intimacy and energy” (Hahnemühle) with which the bamboo paper will allegedly imbue my prints.

The papers:
  • From Hahnemühle:
  • Bamboo (ordered)
  • Sugar Cane (ordered)
  • From Moab:
  • Moenkopi Washi, a mulberry bark paper.
  • From Red River Paper:
  • GreenPix 100% recycled photo paper.
  • From Mohawk:
  • Loop series paper. Can’t find it anywhere…

Edit: I made a series of prints on the Bamboo paper for a show next week. While I don’t have much to compare it to, I love the way it looks and feels. Very satisfied with the paper choice.

Desert Rain

trace resonance field

I spent last weekend out in 29 Palms with Pete and a few dozen other artists from around the UC system. Many of us installed work in the desert, and invited the public to come see what we had been up to. Pete and I worked together after the first symposium to come up with an idea for work we thought would make sense in the desert, which resulted in a piece called Trace: Resonance Field. It is a field of ceramic plates that are struck with rhythms controlled by seismic data from the surrounding mountains. I also had a chance to install Tamarisk in a more suitable location.

We’re working on editing our documentation into a cogent bit of video for the internet. For now, you can see photos of the process and some short video clips on flickr. New photos of Tamarisk will be online soon, as well.

There was quite a bit of press for the show. Among others, there was a writeup in artinfo, and a video and photo gallery by press enterprise.

Nonsense way of thinking

tosa lecture

Gadget OK, a device-art and japanese robot-culture symposium, took place this weekend at UCLA Design|Media Arts. With the lectures, panels, and artist presentations finished, about thirty lucky folks got to spend the afternoon with Novmichi Tosa today. He introduced the process behind some of his recent works, and then led us through a brainstorming exercise designed to produce nonsense objects.

There were 4 main steps to creating an idea using Tosa-san’s method:

  1. Write down everything you touched this morning, in order (10 things). After you finish writing down everything, write ‘nonsense’ next to it.

  2. Write something for each thing that would make it nonsensical. If you can’t think of anything that would make the thing nonsensical, put in the word of the day. Ours was ‘blue’.

  3. Combine each pair of nonsense things and write down the new image they make.

  4. Draw your final idea.

hairy dentures process

The process worked quite well for generating a range of silly possibilities, provided you were open to having silly ideas in the first place. After we went through all the steps, Tosa-san photographed everyone’s ideas and shared them with the group. I came up with a sketch for wooly, felt dentures. They give you a nice, hairy smile for greeting people. Other people’s ideas included time-travel toast, a booger-swapping machine, and an air hotel. Give it a try, and perhaps you will come up with something silly, yet worth pursuing.

documenting our work

At the end of the day, some questions arise. What would it mean to have these nonsense objects in the world? What kind of stories do they suggest, or make possible? These are questions raised not only by today’s workshop, but by much of the work presented during Gadget OK. There are so many strange new things; what are we going to do with them?

Continue reading Nonsense way of thinking

Josiah McElheny and women of modernism

josiah mcelheny slide at ucla

Last night, Josiah McElheny gave a talk at UCLA. Among other things, Josiah talked much about the implications of Modernism and what it has meant that a group of men were allowed to decide how our world looks. Josiah presented multiple beginnings to multiple universes, and also dropped some names of significant women who were largely written out of the Modernist history. The ones I caught follow:

The talk was, in many ways, ideal. Josiah cares deeply about the history which he is interrogating, and still maintains a level of modesty about the power of ones work to change its subject. It prompted me to think about areas of research that I deeply care about, and what it would mean for me to engage them rigorously.