Saturday, August 27, 2016

Video Sculpture Example

Here's a link to the video documentation of the work, scrub through to see different angles if you don't care to watch the entire thing. It was featured this month on a public access show called "Here Comes Everybody" that plays on L.A.36, as well as posted to the T+ Journal curated by Tachyons+ (Logan Owlbeemoth) on his tumblr blog.

"He Sleeps So I Don't Have To"
Ceramic, Paint, CRT Monitors, Video
Summer 2016

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Eleanor Antin: Politics & Paper Dolls | ART21 "Exclusive"

Eleanor Antin: Politics & Paper Dolls | ART21 "Exclusive" here


Brief writing here
Very short video clip here


The artists in “Play” improvise games, draw inspiration from dance and music, and employ color, pattern, and movement to elicit delight. Indulging in process, these artists transform naïve impulses into critical statements about the nature of identity, creative expression, and pleasure. Introduced by Grant Hill, “Play” was shot on location in Brooklyn, New York; Berlin, Germany; Santiago de Compostela, Spain; New Haven, Connecticut; Houston, Texas; and Austin, Texas.
In the studio Jessica Stockholder makes sculptures on the scale of furniture, assembling objects made of brightly colored plastic. “I love plastic. And I also just love color,” Jessica Stockholder says. “Plastic is cheap and easy to buy, and my work participates in that really quick and easy and inexpensive material that’s part of our culture.” At the Rice Gallery in Houston where she is working on a large exuberant installation, Stockholder’s fascination with systems is evident in the way she arranges mundane objects in playful, surprising ways. “I’m interested in how a thinking process can meander in unpredictable ways,” she says. Like child's play, “learning that doesn’t have a predetermined end.”
Searching for a release from his past meditative work of knitting colorless sculptures with Mylar tape, Oliver Herring began making fantastical stop-motion videos of himself, and subsequently of strangers encountered by chance. In addition to videos, Herring creates sculptures of “off-the-street” strangers, using Styrofoam covered with photographs that reproduce the skin of the model. He also photographs strangers’ faces after they've spent hours spitting colorful food dye over their faces. The portraits are intense documents of an unusual kind of intimacy. “I usually wait for a moment that brings out some kind of vulnerability,” he says. “That’s what I’m after. This personal connection with a stranger.”
“Being Latin American, you are made up of so many fragments from different cultures,” says Arturo Herrera. For the Venezuela-born artist, collage is the natural expression of his mixed identity. Herrera’s collages combine cartoon elements with abstract shapes to explore the interplay of childhood memories and adult desires. In his Berlin studio, he photographs elements of his own drawings and then develops the film canisters in various liquids, which seep in and alter the film. “I think there is a potential for these images to communicate different things to different viewers in a very touching way,” he explains. “But that experience is not a public experience, it is very private, and very personal.”
Working with vintage magazines, Ellen Gallagher explores both the representation of ethnicity and the essential nature of identity. In a series of large paintings, she mounts page after page in a grid so that the viewer relates to the magazines in a spatial rather than a sequential way. “I’m collecting advertisements and stories and characters,” she says. “And I see them as conscripts in the sense that they come into my lexicon without me asking them permission.” Using an intricate printmaking process to engrave an image of Isaac Hayes, Gallagher comments“I think there is a nostalgia in my gathering of this material...yet in that gesture you’re continually moving forward and continually seeing the world.”
Each episode for Season Three concludes with an original work of video art by the artists Teresa Hubbard / Alexander Birchler. Known for their haunting video projections, Hubbard and Birchler’s work alters temporal, cinematic and architectural expectations of the viewer through the use of looping narratives. For Art in the Twenty-First Century, their first commission for television, they have created a series of beautiful and enigmatic short films. Each film uses the same setting—the interior of a police car at night—and begins when one officer brings a cup of coffee for another. Using recurring and non-recurring characters, interrelated dialogue, and ambient sound, the suite of films evoke not only the Seaon Three themes of Power, Memory, Structures and Play, but also sleep, dreams and longing.


Oliver Herring TASK: Watch video here


"To experiment is at first more valuable than to produce; free play in the beginning develops courage. Therefore, we do not begin with a theoretical introduction; we start directly with the material..."

"Our aim is not so much to work differently as to work without copying or repeating others. We try to experiment, to train ourselves in "constructive thinking"..."

" essential point in our teaching is economy. Economy is the sense of thriftiness in labor and material and in the best possible use of them to achieve the effect that is desired."

 -- Josef Albers, "Concerning Design," from "Werklicher Formunterricht," published in "bauhaus. zeitschrift fur gestaltung, nos. 2/3 (Dessau: 1928), pp. 3-7.

THE WAY THINGS GO by Peter Fischli and David Weiss

Watch video trailer here


View video here

It takes an entire civilization to build a toaster. Designer Thomas Thwaites found out the hard way, by attempting to build one from scratch: mining ore for steel, deriving plastic from oil ... it's frankly amazing he got as far as he got. A parable of our interconnected society, for designers and consumers alike.


Watch video here

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

How to Love: Legendary Zen Buddhist Teacher Thich Nhat Hanh on Mastering the Art of “Interbeing”

“To love without knowing how to love wounds the person we love.”

What does love mean, exactly? We have applied to it our finest definitions; we have examined its psychology and outlined it in philosophical frameworks; we have even devised a mathematical formula for attaining it. And yet anyone who has ever taken this wholehearted leap of faith knows that love remains a mystery — perhaps the mystery of the human experience.
Learning to meet this mystery with the full realness of our being — to show up for it with absolute clarity of intention — is the dance of life.

That’s what legendary Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, teacher, and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh (b. October 11, 1926) explores in How to Love (public library) — a slim, simply worded collection of his immeasurably wise insights on the most complex and most rewarding human potentiality.
Indeed, in accordance with the general praxis of Buddhist teachings, Nhat Hanh delivers distilled infusions of clarity, using elementary language and metaphor to address the most elemental concerns of the soul. To receive his teachings one must make an active commitment not to succumb to the Western pathology of cynicism, our flawed self-protection mechanism that readily dismisses anything sincere and true as simplistic or naïve — even if, or precisely because, we know that all real truth and sincerity are simple by virtue of being true and sincere.
At the heart of Nhat Hanh’s teachings is the idea that “understanding is love’s other name” — that to love another means to fully understand his or her suffering. (“Suffering” sounds rather dramatic, but in Buddhism it refers to any source of profound dissatisfaction — be it physical or psychoemotional or spiritual.) Understanding, after all, is what everybody needs — but even if we grasp this on a theoretical level, we habitually get too caught in the smallness of our fixations to be able to offer such expansive understanding. He illustrates this mismatch of scales with an apt metaphor:
If you pour a handful of salt into a cup of water, the water becomes undrinkable. But if you pour the salt into a river, people can continue to draw the water to cook, wash, and drink. The river is immense, and it has the capacity to receive, embrace, and transform. When our hearts are small, our understanding and compassion are limited, and we suffer. We can’t accept or tolerate others and their shortcomings, and we demand that they change. But when our hearts expand, these same things don’t make us suffer anymore. We have a lot of understanding and compassion and can embrace others. We accept others as they are, and then they have a chance to transform.
The question then becomes how to grow our own hearts, which begins with a commitment to understand and bear witness to our own suffering:
When we feed and support our own happiness, we are nourishing our ability to love. That’s why to love means to learn the art of nourishing our happiness.
Understanding someone’s suffering is the best gift you can give another person. Understanding is love’s other name. If you don’t understand, you can’t love.
And yet because love is a learned “dynamic interaction,” we form our patterns of understanding — and misunderstanding — early in life, by osmosis and imitation rather than conscious creation. Echoing what Western developmental psychology knows about the role of “positivity resonance” in learning love, Nhat Hanh writes:
If our parents didn’t love and understand each other, how are we to know what love looks like? … The most precious inheritance that parents can give their children is their own happiness. Our parents may be able to leave us money, houses, and land, but they may not be happy people. If we have happy parents, we have received the richest inheritance of all.

Nhat Hanh points out the crucial difference between infatuation, which replaces any real understanding of the other with a fantasy of who he or she can be for us, and true love:
Often, we get crushes on others not because we truly love and understand them, but to distract ourselves from our suffering. When we learn to love and understand ourselves and have true compassion for ourselves, then we can truly love and understand another person.
Out of this incomplete understanding of ourselves spring our illusory infatuations, which Nhat Hanh captures with equal parts wisdom and wit:
Sometimes we feel empty; we feel a vacuum, a great lack of something. We don’t know the cause; it’s very vague, but that feeling of being empty inside is very strong. We expect and hope for something much better so we’ll feel less alone, less empty. The desire to understand ourselves and to understand life is a deep thirst. There’s also the deep thirst to be loved and to love. We are ready to love and be loved. It’s very natural. But because we feel empty, we try to find an object of our love. Sometimes we haven’t had the time to understand ourselves, yet we’ve already found the object of our love. When we realize that all our hopes and expectations of course can’t be fulfilled by that person, we continue to feel empty. You want to find something, but you don’t know what to search for. In everyone there’s a continuous desire and expectation; deep inside, you still expect something better to happen. That is why you check your email many times a day!

Real, truthful love, he argues, is rooted in four elements — loving kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity — fostering which lends love “the element of holiness.” The first of them addresses this dialogic relationship between our own suffering and our capacity to fully understand our loved ones:
The essence of loving kindness is being able to offer happiness. You can be the sunshine for another person. You can’t offer happiness until you have it for yourself. So build a home inside by accepting yourself and learning to love and heal yourself. Learn how to practice mindfulness in such a way that you can create moments of happiness and joy for your own nourishment. Then you have something to offer the other person.
If you have enough understanding and love, then every moment — whether it’s spent making breakfast, driving the car, watering the garden, or doing anything else in your day — can be a moment of joy.
This interrelatedness of self and other is manifested in the fourth element as well, equanimity, the Sanskrit word for which — upeksha — is also translated as “inclusiveness” and “nondiscrimination”:
In a deep relationship, there’s no longer a boundary between you and the other person. You are her and she is you. Your suffering is her suffering. Your understanding of your own suffering helps your loved one to suffer less. Suffering and happiness are no longer individual matters. What happens to your loved one happens to you. What happens to you happens to your loved one.
In true love, there’s no more separation or discrimination. His happiness is your happiness. Your suffering is his suffering. You can no longer say, “That’s your problem.”
Supplementing the four core elements are also the subsidiary elements of trust and respect, the currency of love’s deep mutuality:
When you love someone, you have to have trust and confidence. Love without trust is not yet love. Of course, first you have to have trust, respect, and confidence in yourself. Trust that you have a good and compassionate nature. You are part of the universe; you are made of stars. When you look at your loved one, you see that he is also made of stars and carries eternity inside. Looking in this way, we naturally feel reverence. True love cannot be without trust and respect for oneself and for the other person.

The essential mechanism for establishing such trust and respect is listening — something so frequently extolled by Western psychologists, therapists, and sage grandparents that we’ve developed a special immunity to hearing it. And yet when Nhat Hanh reframes this obvious insight with the gentle elegance of his poetics, it somehow bypasses the rational cynicism of the jaded modern mind and registers directly in the soul:
To love without knowing how to love wounds the person we love. To know how to love someone, we have to understand them. To understand, we need to listen.
When you love someone, you should have the capacity to bring relief and help him to suffer less. This is an art. If you don’t understand the roots of his suffering, you can’t help, just as a doctor can’t help heal your illness if she doesn’t know the cause. You need to understand the cause of your loved one’s suffering in order to help bring relief.
The more you understand, the more you love; the more you love, the more you understand. They are two sides of one reality. The mind of love and the mind of understanding are the same.
Echoing legendary Zen teacher D.T. Suzuki’s memorable aphorism that “the ego-shell in which we live is the hardest thing to outgrow,” Nhat Hanh considers how the notion of the separate, egoic “I” interrupts the dialogic flow of understanding — the “interbeing,” to use his wonderfully poetic and wonderfully precise term, that is love:
Often, when we say, “I love you” we focus mostly on the idea of the “I” who is doing the loving and less on the quality of the love that’s being offered. This is because we are caught by the idea of self. We think we have a self. But there is no such thing as an individual separate self. A flower is made only of non-flower elements, such as chlorophyll, sunlight, and water. If we were to remove all the non-flower elements from the flower, there would be no flower left. A flower cannot be by herself alone. A flower can only inter-be with all of us… Humans are like this too. We can’t exist by ourselves alone. We can only inter-be. I am made only of non-me elements, such as the Earth, the sun, parents, and ancestors. In a relationship, if you can see the nature of interbeing between you and the other person, you can see that his suffering is your own suffering, and your happiness is his own happiness. With this way of seeing, you speak and act differently. This in itself can relieve so much suffering.
The remainder of How to Love explores the simple, profoundly transformative daily practices of love and understanding, which apply not only to romantic relationships but to all forms of “interbeing.” Complement it with John Steinbeck’s exquisite letter of advice on love to his teenage son and Susan Sontag’s lifetime of reflections on the subject, then revisit the great D.T. Suzuki on how Zen can help us cultivate our character.


View Andrea Fraser video here

Filmed with hidden cameras at the Guggenheim Bilbao, in "Little Frank and His Carp" Fraser reverses her well-known role as museum docent, performing instead the position of a museum visitor listening to the official audio guide- which advises visitors, among other things, to caress the building's "powerfully sensual" curves. "Little Frank and His Carp" was produced by Consonni, Bilbao. 

Andrea Fraser’s artistic practice includes performance-based work, video, context art, and institutional critique. In her 1989 work Museum Highlights , she adopts the persona of a tour guide but delivers outlandish information as she leads unsuspecting visitors through the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Little Frank and His Carp is a performance work filmed by hidden cameras at (and without the prior knowledge or permission of) the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. Prompted by an audio guide, the ubiquitous tool of the museum visit, Fraser follows its instructions and “interacts” with architect Frank Gehry’s fish-shaped tower at the center of the hall.

Wild Belle Sculptural Installation

In the spring of this year, along with a future prospective sculpture major, Isabella Guttoso, we were asked to create a sculptural installation for a recent album release of the band Wild Belle.  The work was intended to be a scene in which the audience would be able to interact and take photos with, essentially a photo op. There was a promo video made by one of the production team members. This was my first sculptural commission / assignment that was outside of school and it was great to see people interacting with the work and having their own unique moments with it, from seeing it to being able to take their own photo with the work!

Here is the link:

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Viewing art gives same pleasure as being in love

Viewing art gives same pleasure as being in love, By , Telegraph, Science Correspondent, 4:54PM BST 08 May 2011 by Article here
Video clip here

Saturday, August 20, 2016


Material as Metaphor Read more here
A short while ago I had a visit from 10 week old baby who looked at me wide eyed and I thought somewhat puzzled and was struggling as if trying to tell me something and did not know how.
And I thought how often did I feel like that, not knowing how to get out what wanted to be said.
Most of our lives we live closed up in ourselves, with a longing not to be alone, to include others in that life that is invisible and intangible.
To make it visible and tangible, we need light and material, any material. And any material can take on the burden of what had been brewing in our consciousness or sub-consciousness, in our awareness or in our dreams.
Now, material, any material obeys laws of its own, laws recognizably given to it by the reigning forces of nature or imposed by us on those materials that are created by our brain, such as sound, words, colors, illusions of space—laws of old or newly invented. We may follow them or oppose them, but they are guidelines, positive or negative.
The human brain is a computer. Total chaos is not human. In the cosmos we try to unravel the riddle of its order. Television, my great teacher, tells me that astronomers are finding ever more simplifications of order, unifying ever more everything.
How do we choose our specific material, our means of communication? "Accidentally". Something speaks to us, a sound, a touch, hardness or softness, it catches us and asks us to be formed. We are finding our language, and as we go along we learn to obey their rules and their limits. We have to obey, and adjust to those demands. Ideas flow from it to us and though we feel to be the creator we are involved in a dialogue with our medium. The more subtly we are tuned to our medium, the more inventive our actions will become. Not listening to it ends in failure. (Years ago, I once asked John Cage how he had started to find his way. He will not remember it. "By chance" was the answer.) Students worry about choosing their way. I always tell them, "you can go anywhere from anywhere."
In my case it was threads that caught me, really against my will. To work with threads seemed sissy to me. I wanted something to be conquered. But circumstances held me to threads and they won me over. I learned to listen to them and to speak their language. I learned the process of handling them.
And with the listening came gradually a longing for a freedom beyond their range and that led me to another medium, graphics. Threads were no longer as before three dimensional; only their resemblance appeared drawn or printed on paper.
What I had learned in handling threads, I now used in the printing process. Again I was led. My prints are not transfers from paintings to color on paper as is the usual way. I worked with the production process itself, mixing various media, turning the screens . . .
What I am trying to get across is that material is a means of communication.
That listening to it, not dominating it makes us truly active, that is: to be active, be passive.
The finer tuned we are to it, the closer we come to art.
Art is the final aim. In an interview recently Maximilian Schell, the actor, said, "art is for realizing dreams."

-Anni Albers, 1899-1994
Statement on panel "The Art/Craft Connection: Grass Roots or Glass Houses" at the College Art Association's 1982 annual meeting. New York, February 25, 1982. The panel was moderated by Rose Slivka, editor of Craft International and the panelists were Anni Albers, John Cage, Lee Hall, Robert Malloy, Phillip pavia, Jacqueline rice and Peter Voulkos


Methodology for Learning: Rules by Corita Kent and popularized by John Cage. Read more here

Tuesday, August 16, 2016


View Tom Sachs "Love Letter to Plywood" here

Theaster Gates on the nuts and bolts of life – all 30,000 of them

by Hannah Ellis-Peterson, The Guardian, July 14, 2016
view full article here
The US artist has transplanted his South Side Chicago hardware shop to Milan’s Fondazione Prada to highlight the disappearing store of human knowledge
Theaster Gates was already thinking about hardware stores before he walked into Ken’s shop on the corner of 93rd and Halsted in the South Side of Chicago. It was the kind of place saturated with years of expertise, dozens of small wooden drawers filled with screws, bolts and bits of pipe. 
Ken had bought the shop in 1970 from Italian immigrants who had built up the business in the 1930s, but after four decades running this dusty institution, the kind that is being wiped off the map of Chicago, he wanted to retire. And so Gates bought the shop from him – hosepipes, hooks, hammers and all.
For Gates, it was not such a strange move. He may have begun his art career as a potter, but his work is as much preoccupied with regenerating Chicago’s South Side where he lives – an area entrenched in poverty and gang violence – as it is creating pieces that sit prettily in a white gallery space. This week, however, Gates has taken his project one step further – and part way round the world. True Value, as his new show is titled, sees the artist transplant Ken’s entire hardware store, including all 30,000 objects that lined its displays, to the affluent setting of the Fondazione Prada in Milan.
As Gates sees it, hardware stores are more than the sum of their stock. They are the gatekeepers of expertise, containing the objects that keep our crumbling world together that little bit longer. They represent the valuable knowledge of plumbers, electricians and builders, the “shamans” of this world, as Gates reverently refers to them. “I found myself preoccupied not with the painting but with the paint and the manufacturing of paint and the alchemy of pigments,” he says in Milan. “Nowhere represents the ‘before’, the raw materials, more than a hardware store.”
Yet, all across the world, these shops are closing down, swallowed whole by superstores where you can buy a screw with your groceries, do some yoga on site and get a flat white for the way home. We fix less and less, preferring to buy a new sink than mend a tap, and our furniture comes ready-made or constructed from characterless flatpacks. What happens to the legacy of those hardware stores when the last one finally disappears? What do we lose when craft no longer infuses our material lives?
Despite toying briefly with keeping Ken’s shop running in Chicago, particularly as faithful customers kept stopping by to pick up mousetraps or hosepipes, Gates began to think of other ways he could honour Ken and the objects he had lived among for 40 years.
“Sadly I just didn’t have the capacity to keep the store going,” says Gates. “But I started to think about what the truth of this hardware store going away means, not only for Chicago but for small, family-owned businesses that are being squeezed out around the world. Could the hardware store be a stand-in for the failure of local economy globally?”
It was Ken who helped Gates move the shop to his Chicago studio, and the conversations it sparked between the pair were recorded and now play in the store’s latest incarnation in Milan. By moving it wholesale, Gates wants people to take a moment to consider – and appreciate – the knowledge implicit in all 30,000 objects hanging on those hooks. That, even when this shop is ripped from its local neighbourhood, rebuilt 4,526 miles away and redefined as art, we can see both what is lost and what remains. The more modern society devalues the skills of craftsmen, says Gates, the more removed it becomes from the elements that make and hold together our material world, the more that society – or the immaterial world – “is very quickly falling apart”.
True Value also throws light on Gates’s complex attitude to gender. He nods at the suggestion that hardware is the bastion of a certain kind of masculinity, that American can-do ethos, but shrugs off the suggestion that gender is ever a black and white issue. “Hinduism has already told us that at best humans are gender fluid … look, I would never talk directly about gender in the work that I do, but I understand there’s always a grappling with the parts of my life that are extremely gender biased – whether that’s male or female.”
Pointing behind him, where the shop’s objects are carefully colour-co-ordinated, Gates smiles bashfully. “It takes a particular kind of shopkeeper to organise the screws in such a way right? But,” he pauses to pick up a book at his feet and crinkles his face in concentration, “it takes another type of person who knows that if I wanted to screw this book, which is about 1.12in, into 5in plywood, I would need a 2.25in screw.”
The youngest child in a family of eight older sisters, Gates moves from being softly spoken to adopting the booming cadence of a preacher, his voice and body filling an auditorium with an undeniably masculine power (his mother hoped he would become a priest and he still sings in a gospel choir). He speaks detachedly of a recent love affair that came to a fractious end, but then admits to recently crying uncontrollably when confronted with the art of Pol Bury.
Gates’s relationship with his father, a former tar roofer, is referenced frequently in his work – his father’s old mop and bucket and a canvas painted with tar feature in the Milan exhibition – but it was his mother, a schoolteacher, to whom Gates was devoted. Only after her death in 2011, and on her instruction, did he finally reach out to his father, and the pair slowly rebuilt a bond through tarring roofs together. “It takes a certain kind of muscly body to push a 40ft tar mop around,” he says with a flicker of a smile, “but when you do it, you do it like you’re dancing.”
Nothing he does is about nostalgia, insists Gates – it’s about power. The disappearance of local hardware stores speaks to the disappearance of local community, local government and therefore local power in the face of large conglomerates, creating a world where “profit will trump humanity”. “Every day people become less employed because there are fewer businesses that do more,” Gates laments. “So I think if there’s anything nostalgic, it’s that desire to see everyday people having control over their lives, a direct engagement.”
The restoration of local power is how Gates differentiates his ongoing “ethical development” of the Greater Grand Crossing neighbourhood in Chicago from gentrification by another name. Rather than pricing people out, he says, it is about creating spaces of beauty where they can come together. This outlook is gaining traction, with Gates recently engaged in a Chicago-wide project to reimagine civic buildings and also appointed to the small panel who helped Barack Obama choose the final design for his Presidential Library in the South Side.
In Milan, Gates used his staged hardware store as a platform to reach out to the ferrementas – traditional Italian hardware shops – that have existed for decades in the city but are as much of a dying breed as they are in Chicago. The exhibition flyer invites people to visit Ferrementa Vigano, which has been open since 1927, and the day before the show opened, Gates met with 80-year-old Ada Comoretto who has run a ferrementa in the now affluent Milanese neighbourhood of Corso Como, for her whole life. Comoretto was very moved by the show, says Gates, because it illustrated what she has always known yet the world has seemingly forgotten – that there is as much knowledge in a screw as in a book. 
  • True Value is on at Fondazione Prada, Milan, to 25 September