Friday, November 15, 2013

Portfolio of Student Work

Click on the images to view them larger.

Jason Guzman Bayron
Plywood, wood dowels
Sculpture I, Bowdoin College

Students in my Sculpture I class were told to approach a stranger and ask them for something they were carrying in their pockets. They were given things like lighters, crumpled receipts, change, lint, business cards, and dollar bills. When they returned to class, they were challenged to use that object as inspiration for a sculpture that would serve as an abstract portrait of the person they received it from.

Tariq Haq 
Foam, paper mache, acrylic paint
Senior Seminar, Bowdoin College

For their final project, students in my Senior Seminar class turned a vacant storefront in downtown Portland, ME, into a pop-up gallery for a one-night-only exhibition titled “A LOT OF PEOPLE DON’T REALIZE WHAT’S REALLY GOING ON.” Read an article about the exhibition here.


James Miller
Plaster, acrylic paint
Sculpture I, Bowdoin College

For this assignment, students were asked to transform a familiar object through additive or subtractive processes made possible by mold-making and casting techniques. James cast his head and face in plaster and then carved away his facial features, replacing them with a unique QR code.

Charlie Fogarty
Paper, cardboard, plastic, paint, rope
Architectural Design I, Bowdoin College

Inspired by Michael Rakowitz’s paraSITE shelters, students in my Architectural Design I class were asked to design and build a “lean-to shelter” that would serve a new and unusual purpose. Charlie created a portable and collapsible “telephone booth” for making private cell phone calls in public places.

Max Wolf
Found chair, packing tape, eyehooks, springs, screws, knitting needles, light bulb
Sculpture I, Bowdoin College

This assignment required students to deconstruct and reconstruct a found wood chair to make a floor-standing sculpture that conveyed a sense of tension, either formally or conceptually. Max made a “ghost” of his chair using clear packing tape, and then repurposed the chair to make a lamp that shone a light on its former self.

Chelsea Schaeffer
Handmade paper, Arduino microcontroller, LEDs
Intermediate Independent Study, Bowdoin College

In the spring of 2012, Chelsea did an independent study with me to learn more about using an Arduino microcontroller in conjunction with LEDs. The semester culminated in a site-specific installation involving a hand-made paper sculpture that was illuminated from within by blinking LEDs.

Dave Mykins
Plaster, plaster gauze, wood
Introduction to Sculpture, Alfred University

For a long-term assignment titled “Manufactured Landscapes,” students were asked to recognize the artist’s dual role as both a producer of commodities and a consumer of materials and resources. Field trips and activities focused on where the materials we used came from, how they were made, and the environmental impact of their production and consumption. Several students chose to view their own bodies as landscapes to explore how they fit into the world around them. You can learn more about this assignment and the other work that resulted from it by visiting the class blog.

Kelsey Freeman
Post-it notes
Sculpture I, Bowdoin College

The first project in Sculpture I was a multiples assignment that challenged students to make a new “thing” – that which cannot be named – by manipulating and assembling existing small-scale objects like matches, pencils, plastic cutlery, and the like. Students were encouraged to forget what those objects are supposed to be or do by focusing on formal elements like color and texture, and exploring many different construction methods. They arrived at a new and unexpected form through a process of play and experimentation.

FLOAT
Inflatable sculptures for Layla Marcelle Mrozowski
Sculpture I, Bowdoin College 

During a three week residency, visiting artist Layla Mrozowski collaborated with my Sculpture I class on the design and construction of inflatable sculptures for a site-specific dance performance titled FLOAT. Four Bowdoin students performed Layla’s choreography in the inflatable environment, which was installed in the Student Union. The audience viewed the performance from within the inflatable sculpture in the center of the space. Read an article about the project here.

Joy Smith
Steel rod, wood, paint
Introduction to Sculpture, Alfred University

For a long-term assignment titled “Manufactured Landscapes,” students were asked to recognize the artist’s dual role as both a producer of commodities and a consumer of materials and resources. Field trips and activities focused on where the materials we used came from, how they were made, and the environmental impact of their production and consumption. Several students chose to view their own bodies as landscapes to explore how they fit into the world around them. You can learn more about this assignment and the other work that resulted from it by visiting the class blog.

Tory Keith
Wood, toilet paper, motor
Introduction to Sculpture, Alfred University

After introducing students to very basic information about electronics, kinetics, and the various movements that can be achieved with a low RPM motor, they were asked to construct a kinetic sculpture that explored the idea of duration. Tory constructed a kinetic sculpture with custom wood gears that slowly unraveled a roll of toilet paper onto the ground.

Matthew Rasmussen
One-hour performance for 5 o’ clock
Art & Time, Bowdoin College

For this assignment, students were asked to film themselves “performing the time” for one hour. The video documentation of their performances were sequenced to create a 24-hour-long “YouTube clock,” which can be viewed on the website maketimetaketime.com. Philadelphia-based artist Ryan Hinkel designed the site so that it synchronizes the videos with the local time on a visitor’s computer. The site and its compilation of videos is ultimately a functioning clock, literally “playing the time” from the moment you arrive. Please visit maketimetaketime.com to see the project in action on your personal computer. To view each student’s video individually, visit the “Art and Time” Channel on YouTube. Read an article about the project here.


Ezra Duplissie-Cyr
Coffee filters, chicken wire
Sculpture I, Bowdoin College

The first project in Sculpture I was a multiples assignment that challenged students to make a new “thing” – that which cannot be named – by manipulating and assembling existing small-scale objects like matches, pencils, plastic cutlery, and the like. Students were encouraged to forget what those objects are supposed to be or do by focusing on formal elements like color and texture, and exploring many different construction methods. They arrived at a new and unexpected form through a process of play and experimentation.

Shelley Park
Found magazine rack, magazines, threaded rods, nuts, washers
Introduction to Sculpture, Alfred University

This assignment was inspired by ectoparasites, organisms that attach themselves to the exterior surface of another organism, allowing them to live and thrive at the host’s expense. Students began by finding an existing wood object to use as the “host organism.” They then constructed and integrated an “ectoparasite” of their own design.

Matthew Rasmussen
Archival inkjet print of digital photo collage
Art & Time, Bowdoin College

The final assignment in Art & Time gave students the opportunity to focus on an independent project of their choice for one month. Students worked in various media, including photography, sculpture, video, installation and performance. Matthew made a series of digital collages using photographs he took of the same place at different times of day. This collage was made from stitching together pictures of red and blue cars taken from a highway overpass.

Colby Charpentier
Wood, motor, balloon, pin, string
Foundation: Time, Alfred University

After introducing students to very basic information about electronics, kinetics, and the various movements that can be achieved with a low RPM motor, they were asked to construct a kinetic sculpture that explored the idea of duration. Colby constructed a kinetic sculpture that threatened to pop a balloon with a pin on the end of a string. To view a video of this and other kinetic sculpture projects, click here.


Charlotte Kleiman & Elizabeth Humphrey
Blue plastic table cloths, tape, blower fan, video projection
Sculpture I, Bowdoin College

This assignment required students to collaborate with one or more of their classmates to construct a large-scale, site-specific inflatable sculpture that sensed and responded to viewers. Charlotte and Elizabeth responded to the local environment, and constructed an inflatable tunnel whose shape resembled the path of the nearby Androscoggin River. Videos of swimming fish were projected on the tunnel walls, and the fish would scatter as people walked through.

Noah Pyles
Cast wax, acrylic paint
Sculpture I, Bowdoin College

For this assignment, students were asked to transform a familiar object through additive or subtractive processes made possible by mold-making and casting techniques. Noah cast his foot and fingers in wax, which he melted and fused together to create a grotesque combination of appendages.

McKenzie Kessel
Found chair, wood, paint
Sculpture I, Bowdoin College

This assignment required students to deconstruct and reconstruct a found wood chair to make a floor-standing sculpture that conveyed a sense of tension, either formally or conceptually. McKenzie used both additive and subtractive woodworking techniques to transform an old school chair into a narrative sculpture about our education system.

Hugo Barajas
Wearable sculpture and dance performance
Art & Time, Bowdoin College

The final assignment in Art & Time gave students the opportunity to focus on an independent project of their choice for one month. Students worked in various media, including photography, sculpture, video, installation and performance. Hugo constructed a wearable sculpture for which he choreographed and performed a dance inspired by Nick Cave's Soundsuits.


Friday, July 12, 2013

Pictures from the Malta Arts Festival

Mike Fleming and I recently returned from a trip to Malta, where we installed You are (on) an island at the Maritime Museum for SWIM, a visual arts exhibition that is part of the 2013 Malta Arts Festival. We had a great time and met some amazing people, including the exhibition's curator, Austin Camilleri, and artists Ulrike Sparre and Strijdom van der Merwe. As you can see in the picture above, the boat storage room at the Maritime Museum created quite a dramatic backdrop for the sign. Click here to see more of Mike's images on Flickr.

Friday, June 21, 2013

I won the grand prize!

Last weekend I received amazing news -- that I won the Grand Prize (an unrestricted monetary award of $5,000) in the Dave Bown Projects 6th Semiannual Competition. The jurors were Marisa J. Pascucci, Curator of 20th Century & Contemporary Art at the Boca Raton Museum of Art; Reto Thüring, Associate Curator of Contemporary Art at the Cleveland Museum of Art; and Adelina Vlas, Assistant Curator for Modern & Contemporary Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I am honored to be chosen by curators from such esteemed institutions, and I am so grateful to Dave Bown for creating this award. I am already putting the money to good use - on materials for new work for two upcoming solo exhibitions. Exhibition announcements coming soon!

SWIM at the Malta Arts Festival - Opening on July 1

You are (on) an island is included in SWIM, an art exhibition that is part of the 2013 Malta Arts Festival in Birgu, Malta. Mike Fleming and I are super excited to travel there to install the work next week. The opening reception is on July 1, and the show is up until July 31. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Progress, Regress (a proposal)

Using real-time unemployment and labor market data to animate a kinetic sculpture.
Unemployment rates since 2008 have been and continue to be very high. But if you study a chart of unemployment data gathered by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics since 1948, history shows that “business cycles” (recessions and recoveries) have occurred every 10-15 years. The most recent recession was particularly severe, and the ongoing recovery period is markedly slow and painful. But this is not the first time we’ve suffered through a recession, nor will it be the last. 

Fluctuating unemployment rates, 1948-present

While the unemployment rate has constantly fluctuated between as low as 3% and as high as 10% over the course of time, the labor market is actually much more dynamic than these numbers suggest. Hundreds of thousands of people are either losing or acquiring jobs every month, and new people are continually entering the labor force. The U.S. economy must add $150,000 jobs every month just to keep the unemployment rate stable. And the unemployment rate doesn’t include people who are disabled, involuntarily working part-time, or who have lost hope and stopped looking for a job. 

Push button toy (inspiration for the sculpture's kinetic mechanism)
My goal is to humanize these statistics by using them to animate an object we typically associate with employment and success: a ladder. The ladder will be cut it into pieces that will be drilled and threaded with steel cable, and then reconstructed to function much like a push-button toy. The tension of the cable, and the subsequent position of the ladder, will be controlled by a motorized winch. A computer will collect real-time unemployment data from the web and use a microcontroller to activate the winch. If the unemployment rate rises, the winch will unwind the cable, and the extra slack will allow the ladder to begin to slouch over. As the unemployment rates drop, the winch will wind the cable back up, and the increased tension will pull the ladder into a more erect position. The ladder will become a kind of body, the rungs like its vertebrae, and the numbers will bring it to life.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Restating myself

Every time I write an application - to a grant, residency, or exhibition opportunity - I write a new artist statement. I am always so happy with and proud of my new statement at the moment I complete it. I always feel like I finally expressed what my work is all about. This feeling usually coincides with re-falling in love with writing and re-identifying it as a crucial component of my art practice. But both of those feelings are unfailingly and extremely short lived. It doesn't take long to hate writing again (it's so frustrating and inflexible) or to feel embarrassed by that statement I wrote a few days or weeks ago. Nevertheless, I just finished writing a new artist statement, and I'm really proud of it, so I'm going to share it. And I hope that every time I rework my statement I get a little bit closer to hitting the nail on the head. But give me a few days and I'll probably have a different perspective. I'll eventually see that mark on the wall that's several feet from the nail that shows me how far off I was...

"I received a bachelor’s degree in design and practiced at an architectural firm in New York for several years before earning an MFA in sculpture. My artwork remains strongly rooted in design, and primarily takes the form of electronic, kinetic and interactive sculpture. Inspired by highway billboards and neon signs, my work often imitates these familiar forms of communication, co-opting strategies typically used to advertise products for the production of meaning. I think of words as found objects and I manipulate language as if it were a sculptural material, constructing words and phrases in three dimensions and then assembling and disassembling them over time.

Because my work is driven by concept as opposed to process, my practice is collaborative and interdisciplinary, and I often explore the same idea in many mediums, including drawing, photography, video and installation. My work’s most common recurring theme is an exploration of the aesthetics of time. I believe that art can and should be affected by time, as opposed to frozen in it. Like everything else in the world – our bodies, the seasons, machines – my work often moves, changes, deteriorates, and in some cases, dies."

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Present Perfect

I want to make a series of sculptures based on works of art that other people tell me about having seen, but that I've never seen myself. This one is based on a piece Mike Fleming saw in the MoMA a few years ago. He said a marble-sized metal sphere was placed on a keyboard's letter G so that the computer was continuously typing GGGGG... and that you could see it had been typing G for a long time based on the page # displayed in Microsoft Word. He can't remember the name of the original artist.

So, I placed a large rock on my old laptop's keyboard so that it types the letter Y continuously and infinitely.

YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

I think that if I ever show this in an exhibition I will use a rock that I find in that local area. When the exhibition is over, I will print out the document (however many pages, depending on the length of the show) and then display the stacked pages with the rock on top, as an artifact. Each exhibition at all the different locations will then produce its own unique artifact.


AHA

A thing I made real quick in my stewdio the other day... Feels good to be back at work!





TED2013

One of the many perks of being a TED2013 Fellow was the opportunity to attend TED2013 in Long Beach, CA. This year's theme was "The Young. The Wise. The Undiscovered." I gave a 4 minute talk about my work on the fellows stage. I've also recently been interviewed for a Fellows Friday feature on the TED Blog. Check it out!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

You are (on) an island in Sydney, Australia

For the next 14 months, You are (on) an island will be prominently displayed in downtown Sydney, Australia. It can be seen in the ground floor reception area of Optiver, a financial institution at 39 Hunter Street, in the central business district. Here is an image of the work being installed. More images to come soon!


Monday, March 11, 2013

Artist Talk at the Hepworth Wakefield on 3/15

Mike Fleming and I will be giving an artist talk at the Hepworth Wakefield in the UK this Friday, March 15 at 3:30pm.

"In 2012 Wakefield's Neon Workshops invited American artists Alicia Eggert and Mike Fleming to bring their collaborative neon project to the UK and present it as a mobile venture to an unsuspecting audience around Yorkshire. In January 2013, Eggert and Fleming arrived in Wakefield, installed their poignant statement on the back of a hire van, sparked up the delicate gas-filled glass with a small generator and took to the road."

Friday, March 8, 2013

Eternity included in O'Clock exhibition at the CAFA Art Museum in Beijing

Eternity is included in the O'Clock. Time design, design time exhibition, which was originally held at the Triennale Design Museum in Milan, and is on view at the CAFA Art Museum in Beijing until April 10.

"Compared to the display in Milan, the exhibition in Beijing includes an expanded, updated selection of works which take account of China’s newly emerging and already established design potential. A wide-ranging display of original site-specific works, installations, design objects, works of art and videos by international artists and designers seek to answer questions such as: “How is time measured?”, “How can passing time be shown?” and “How can time be experienced?”. All the works exhibited tackle subjects such as the passage of time, time’s evolution, and decay over time, in ways that are sometimes ironic, sometimes poetic, sometimes meditative and sometimes critical."

Sunday, March 3, 2013

You are (on) an island - Digital book is online!

Mike Fleming and I are about to return to England for the opening of our exhibition and book launch party at Neon Workshops. We recently uploaded a digital version of the publication, which you can see online at this link. Please email me at dearestalicia@gmail.com if you'd like to purchase a hard copy of the book when it's available (after March 15th).

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Best of 2013

A student of mine at Bowdoin just informed me that I'm in the running for Portland's "Best Visual Artist of 2013." Thanks, Portland Phoenix! I'm flattered. See the other contenders and cast your vote here.



Monday, February 18, 2013

Interview featured on Big Ben

Click on the image to read a short interview featured on the design zine, Big Ben.

Upcoming exhibition at Neon Workshops in Wakefield, England

Thanks to an invitation from Neon Workshops' founder, Richard Wheater, and to 152 individuals who backed our Kickstarter project, Mike Fleming and I spent two weeks in January taking our You are (on) an island sign on a guerilla sculpture tour of West Yorkshire, in the UK. On March 15th, we will return to Wakefield for an exhibition at Neon Workshops. The neon sign will be mounted to scaffolding on the building's roof, photo and video documentation of the work on tour will be on display in the interior gallery, and the limited-edition book we are publishing about the project will be officially released.

If you'd like to get a sneak peek of some photos from the tour, check out Mike Fleming's Flickr page.

More info to come soon!

Artefact Festival 2013 in Leuven, Belgium

Eternity is currently included in Artefact Festival 2013: A City Shaped. The festival is taking place February 13-24 at the Stuk Arts Centre in Leuven, Belgium.

From their website:

"A CITY SHAPED examines and questions new aspects of contemporary and future city development. Sustainability and ecology seem to have become structural parameters in thinking about future urbanity. Do those concepts and focuses lead to a new fundamental view on the city and urbanism? And is its impact comparable with the integral visions of the likes of Le Corbusier, Haussmann, Ebenezer Howard, Walter Jonas, Archigram, Bauhaus, …? It is clear that the ecological approach puts new emphases in developing urbanity, and yet those sensitivities prove to appear already in early architectural projects and utopian visions of the city. Artefact makes thus way for encounters between different positions and propositions within this complex context.

Above all, the urban environment of the future will be shaped from several policies: international, national, urban, provincial, … But during Artefact, we want to create a dialogue between those visions and the voices of artists, the individual citizen or activist. Quite often, they are responsible for testing and intervening with the ‘official’ urban fabric and related environmental, functional, economic and sociocultural aspects."

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

I am a TED Fellow!

I am extremely proud and excited to announce that I have been chosen to be a TED2013 Fellow!

According to their literature, the TEDFellows program “is designed to bring together young world-changers and trailblazers who have shown unusual accomplishment and exceptional courage." As a TED2013 Fellow (one of only 21 people world-wide, and of only eleven from the US), I will have the opportunity to attend this year's TED Conference in Longbeach, CA, and to present my artwork in a four-minute talk on the Fellows Stage on February 25th.  This year's theme is "The Young. The Wise. The Undiscovered."

Read more about the program and the other Fellows here.

"Sculpture By the Sea On Seven" in Sydney, Australia

You are (on) an island (2011) was recently included in the following exhibition:

"Sculpture by the Sea, partnered with David Jones, is proud to present for the first time an exciting exhibition of over 20 local and international contemporary artists available to view On Seven at David Jones in Sydney's flagship Elizabeth Street store. Sculpture by the Sea On Seven brings together a diverse range of highlights from past Sculpture by the Sea exhibitions in this iconic indoor setting, in the heart of the city.

With a pop-up cafe supplied by Pearl Catering, this exhibition is open to the public for opening night 6pm – 9pm on 11th January and then during store trading hours from 12th January – 20th January, 2013."

A photo of the sculpture taken during the opening reception

Maine Women Pioneers III: Vanguard

My work was recently included in a selective group exhibition at the University of New England Art Gallery, Maine Women Pioneers III: Vanguard, from Oct. 12 - Dec. 16, 2012.

About the exhibition:

"Maine Women Pioneers III is co-curated by Anne B. Zill, Gael May McKibben, and Andres A. Verzosa. This exhibition is the third on this subject in the history of The University of New England Art Gallery. The four categories - Vanguard, Homage, Worldview and Dirigo - have four distinct conceptual frameworks.

Vanguard, the first exhibition in the series, featured avant-garde, experimental and innovative works by nine Maine artists who offer insights into the future using mixed media, conceptual installation, performance and video elements. The artists featured were: Susan Bickford, Diana Cherbuliez, Amy Stacey Curtis, Alicia Eggert, Lauren Fensterstock, Lihua Lei, Julie Poitras Santos, Carrie Scanga, and Ling-Wen Tsai."

Read more about my work in the show in the following reviews:

Portland Press Herald: “Postcards from the cutting edge,” Bob Keyes, 18 November 2012 

Portland Phoenix: “Getting Women Right: UNE’s Impressive Third All-Female Exhibit,” Nicholas Schroeder, 14 November 2012 

Artscope: “Maine Women Pioneers III: Vanguard,” Taryn Plumb, November-December, 2012