Monday, May 23, 2011

Things to pack for camp:

wind sock
muscle wire
kick drum
colorful penant flags
generator motor
servo motors
60 rpm motors
proximity sensor 
motion sensor
x-acto knife and blades
cutting mat
glue stick
colored pencils and markers
my bicycle

Thanks to a Faculty Research Award from Bowdoin College, I am going to ITP Camp at NYU! I will be in New York for the entire month of June taking workshops like this. Yes!!!

Beware of the heights and depths of the universe.

Friday, May 13, 2011

For the reason that; since

Photo by Meggan Gould (from her Blackboards series).

The more I look at things, I cannot get rid of the feeling that existence is quite weird.

These are snapshots I've taken with my newly acquired iPhone.
(The post title is a quote from "Learning the Human Game" by Alan Watts)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Make sure of all things.

In pursuit of something elusive.

"I think a great deal about what it means to be an artist.

I reflect on the elaborate psychological mechanisms required to pursue something so elusive, so ambiguous. I often wonder: ‘Am I talking to myself?’

I don’t make work for other people, but as an artist, I need to be in dialogue with the world that exists beyond my overpopulated cranium. I’ve concluded that to be effective-to be functional-I must guzzle an eye-popping cocktail of delusion and narcissism.

It occurred to me that being an artist is a great deal like being a dictator.

Just like a dictator, I must live in a closed loop of self-delusion. A place where my words and ideas always ring true. A gilded daydream of grandiosity. There can be no room for doubt. I must be convinced that I have something vital to say. I must believe that the world is waiting in keen anticipation to hear my message."

(This text is copied from the artist statement of Phillip Toledano, who also made that photograph of his daughter - read more about it here. Thanks, Genevieve!)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

What it means to Wonder.

I am beginning to notice (and accept) that writing and reflection are very important parts of my artistic practice. So I'm trying to embrace it. This is my abstract for a paper I would like to write for a session at next year's College Art Association conference in LA, titled "Chewing on Words: Reconsidering Text in its Materiality":

The “most-remembered” commercial that aired during the 2010 Super Bowl didn’t flaunt sexy women in bikinis or use computer-generated imagery or effects. In fact, it used hardly any imagery whatsoever. It simply showed text being entered into a Google search bar. The words and phrases appeared on the screen as though a person were typing them in – “study abroad paris”, “impress a French girl”, “long distance relationship advice”, and finally “how to assemble a crib” – and suggested a narrative that viewers were asked to construct word by word in just 52 seconds. This critically acclaimed ad cost Google more to air than it did to produce, but its astounding popularity and effectiveness are telling indicators of the power of text as a visual medium.

In this paper, I will explore how the use of text in time-based and interactive sculpture can give viewers the authority to construct a work’s meaning both individually and collectively, using my own artwork as primary examples. My work asks viewers to wonder about questions such as “what is the length of now?” and “what is the size of here?”. I utilize words that have more than one meaning (such as ‘now’ or ‘then’), or words whose meaning is so abstract that their definition amounts to almost nothing (such as ‘eternity’ or ‘wonder’). I invite viewers to construct their own understanding of those words through time-based objects and/or physical interaction.

Works such as The Length of Now (2008) and Eternity (2010) will be placed in an art historical context by comparison to Joesph Kosuth’s One and Three Chairs (1965). Kosuth’s work will be used to illustrate Conceptual Art’s longstanding interest in the close relationship between language and image. It will also be used to demonstrate how a verbal description of ‘chair’ offers a viewer more room for interpretation than the image, which is very specific and leaves little to the imagination.

(Pictured above: The Length of Now, 2008)

(Pictured above: Eternity, 2010)

(Pictured above: Joseph Kosuth's One and Three Chairs, 1965)

Similarly, On Kawara’s “Date Paintings” (the Today series) will be used to exemplify how the meaning of text is largely determined by time and place (less specifically referred to as context). A work’s meaning during the time and place of ‘fabrication’ (which is another word that has a wonderful dual meaning) can be very different from a viewer’s experience and understanding of it at the time and place of its exhibition. Between Now and Then (2008) demonstrates how the meaning of such words is determined by a viewer’s position in space – ‘then’ can refer to both the past and the future.

(Pictured above: On Kawara's 19 February 2006, from Today series, 2006)

(Pictured above: Between Now and Then, 2008)

My interactive sculptures, The Ecstasy of Influence (2010) and Wonder (2011), will be used to illustrate the concept of intersubjective encounters as posed by Nicholas Bourriaud in Relational Aesthetics. Both of those works require the participation of more than one person in order for meaning to be constructed. One must be the ‘maker’ (or performer) and the other must play the role of the ‘viewer’. Because of this, meaning is elaborated collectively as opposed to individually.

(Pictured above: The Ecstasy of Influence, 2010)

(Pictured above: Wonder, 2011)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

People are Wondering.

Footage of people interacting with Wonder at the Portland Museum of Art. (I love the dancing that happens towards the end!)