A nice new addition to the blog roll…

Hello Friends! Please check out 101 Conceptual Art Ideas. It’s a clever blog about, well, you guessed it, Conceptual Art Ideas. You can actually find the link under “art places/spaces” under the Links section!

Some of you may ask, “Why do you love this blog, Dorothy?”

Answer: It’s simple. It starts a dialogue. Please visit and talk to me or anyone you know. The conversation may last for 2 minutes or 2 hours. Regardless, you’ve been equipped with more art knowledge.

Huckleberry Finn Exhibition at the CCA Wattis Institute – Before

It’s been a flurry of activity on the art writing front! Although I have not been feeling well lately, I had to punch something out after recuperating from a tough morning. Yet, I was able to produce the write up below for the Critical Sources art writing workshop at The Lab. This is the “before” version.

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Writing offers readers archetypes and projections of the real world whether the writer intends for that or not. Like the curvaceous, long winding Mississippi river with tributaries flowing into the larger body of water; contemporary American life possesses an analogous structure and tendencies. From Allison Smith’s reproduction of historical artifacts serving as a narrative of the Antebellum South to Jason Meadow’s re-appropriating popular culture icons as an interpretation of Huck and Jim’s relationship throughout their journey; the wondrous, confluent effects of literature and visual arts on our perceptions and understanding of a complicated history permeates in the latest Huckleberry Finn exhibition at the Wattis Institute.

The wide-ranging collection inspired by Huck and Jim’s misadventures and voyage down the Mississippi River forge new ways of looking at the story and its portrayal of race relations and how environment can dictate one’s actions and reactions. In Sleeping by the Mississippi, a photographic series by Alex Soth, the river becomes a stage for the mind’s eye provoking the viewer to fathom a version of the tale. On the other end of the spectrum, Kireston Pieroth not only takes the actual story and presents it to the viewer; she preserves it in such a way that is tantamount to an American past time – jam and jelly making. With her presentation of the prose in an unorthodox way, Pieroth shows how the novel has become embedded and preserved in American history and culture.

While the lower gallery introduces us to the text, the upper gallery showcases the intricacies and intersections of racism and how the past affects our present day understanding of the classic prose. The exhibition goes to great lengths to remind patrons that a story not only mirrors what is relevant at a given time but it becomes perennial by its power to touch upon that which is universal – the human desire to understand ourselves through the Other.

Retro-Tech

Hot off the presses…Enjoy!

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Is the imagination a mode of technology? What role does the imagination play in technological advancements such as sensor-laden homes, personal GPS devices, and televisions that can display four channels simultaneously? Artists for Retro-Tech, an exhibition at the San Jose Museum of Art, answer the question of how imagination operates in combination with technical knowledge, and ask the viewer to engage in re-working notions of technology quite imaginatively.

The exhibition includes Katya Bonnenfant, Aleksandra Mir, Tim Hawkinson, Scott Kildall and Victoria Scott, among others. Each salvages what may have been forgotten by colliding past and present, known with the unknown, imaginary and physical space.

Mir’s collages re-contextualize imaginary space and religious iconography. She delicately places pious imagery within galactic space. Through such visual dichotomies, the viewer must reconcile unearthly opposites. In Aerial Mobile (1998), Hawkinson utilizes television antennae, fabric, and strings to provoke the viewer into seeing an obsolete object—the television antennae—in a different modality. The object embodies movement rather than functioning as it has historically, to make a moving picture still.

Bonnenfant meshes old and new technologies in her piece 2:57 Onibaba Anguish from “Vintage Packaging for Animation” (2009). In it, digital animation commands the viewer’s attention via an iPod Touch carefully installed within a vintage clock. Her craftsmanship in re-fashioning a retro digital clock illustrates what happens when imagination works in tandem with technology. Her confinement of the new by the old forces the viewer to recognize rapid change in a digital age.

The “No Matter” collection is the opposite of its name, but playful semantics remind patrons that these art objects, at one point, were derived from the imagination. Scott Kildall and Victoria Scott venture into a virtual economy by working with

Scott Killdall and Victoria Scott. Gift Horse, 2010; installation view photographed in progress. Courtesy of the Artists and the San Jose Museum of Art.

Second Life users to bring imaginary objects into physical space by painstakingly and meticulously creating paper sculptures from inkjet prints on archival paper from digital renderings. In addition, the complexity of Kildall and Scott’s process and production alone couldn’t have prepared the museum staff for the arrival of a monumental thirteen-foot-tall Trojan Horse, reconstructed as a No Matter project and embedded with handcrafted viruses by visitors and artists alike. The horse was “gifted” to the museum and served as an incredible bridge between new technology and old-fashioned art making.

The exhibition also includes the work of Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla from Puerto Rico; the collaborative work of REBAR (Blaine Merker, John Bela, and Matthew Passmore), from San Francisco; Camille Scherrer from La Tour-de-Peilz, Switzerland: Xu Zhen from Shanghai, and Ricardo Miranda Zúñiga, based in New York. Although these artists present varying methods of reinventing old technologies, collectively they show imagination and technology are, perhaps, synonymous. Technology makes one more imaginative, but it is the imagination that provides the impetus for technological advancement and ingenious iterations of the past.

You can visit the Shotgun write-up here

Gender Resolution by Pete Ippel

This is a follow up post to the Art 10 Q & A.

Please view this great video of how Pete created his work, Gender Resolution.