Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Proposal of Post-Graffiti : "The 1972 Games"

This is a very brisk photosketch of a lingering idea parallel to the discussion with post-graffiti art and a perpetual DIY aesthetic.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Snow-Art Experiment : "Remember the Isotopes"

This piece involves a little timed anticipation and using snow as a medium in lieu of using a landscape filled with snow.

Project : Remember the Isotopes, Snow + Gravel + Softball

This piece serves as possibly, and somewhat literally,
planting the seed for a larger endeavor down the line.
To summarize, one of my considerations for that is creating
a mockumentary/film/performance project with the
with the imaginary and mythical Reno Isotopes, kingpins of the 
white-collar softball league circa 1990s, reemerging with the
changing of the seasons once more to take back what's theirs.
The bigger picture will reveal something more in kinship to a
social commentary on sports-game culture and separations
between anticipation/fantasy and concrete results/reality.

As for this piece alone, it has more of a whimsical and
nostalgic charm that emphasizes the belief in superstition,
myth, and a willful competitiveness to ignite the spirits
of a city which is what I believe sports accomplishes.

(Captions below images for process.)

1a. A softball signed by every member of the Reno Isotopes.
Possibly at the terminal of their initial departure from one another.

1b. Alternative angle of the Isotope game ball.

1c. Alternative angle of the Isotope game ball.

2. Time for the myth to be born. The softball is
frozen overnight to take close to an organic shape.

3a. No time to install a myth like sunset.
I arrive at Memorial Park Diamond.
Not a soul around. The sun is sinking.

3b. The Reno Isotopes used to fill these seats
with their Thursday night games.

4. Planting it. Making a pattern for the
"mound" while loosening the artifact.

5. Layer One : The mythical game ball is
frozen solid from decades of passing through memory
and time. Through miracle chance, it found its way.

6. Layer Two : A thick sheet of snow and ice
nestles the artifact even more to keep
it from harm, upon real world re-entry.

7. Layer Three : Gravel, matching the diamond dirt,
is padded onto the snow sheet. Its a mystery if it
rose from the ground, as if it were a grave, or if
it simply blew in with the winds of Spring.

8. The mound is in place. The Isotopes
have spoken. They rise again.

9. Nothing left to do but walk away and let
the memory and myth alter what's real.

For those curious, this is the starting line-up of the RENO ISOTOPES-

1. Tim Marjones, SS (C), The Frontman. First man to practice. Last to pack it in. A clutch player.
2. Jake "The Snake" Dillon, LF, The Technical One. Bunts 50% of the time. Brings pet snake to batting practice.
3. Lucy Ramirez, P, The X-Factor. Her sidearm pitching style intimidates all. Especially with a 20% HBP stat.
4. Jack Vaughn, 3B, The Cleaner. A finely tuned, All-American ex-high school athlete. Likes the inside corner.
5. Willy Mills, C, The Minimalist. Mostly because of his smoking habit, he remains stagnant at catcher.
6. Vic Cobb, 1B, The Farmboy. He considers his aluminum bat hi-technology. That says it all.
7. Santino Borrego, CF, The Shotgun. Cousin of Tim Marjones. Known for incredible outfield double-play stat.
8. Ryan McCrady, RF, The Pain. A polarizing figure at batting practice. Whines a lot and starts a lot of drama.
9. "Coach" Nick Nemeth, 2B, The Dictator. An odd coach, but masterfully methodical. Hates umpires.

And of course, every game, they enter to their memorable theme-

Alan Parsons Project - "Eye in the Sky"

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Dual Flyer Experiments : "The Long Holiday" and "Northern Arts Forum"

I created two works for the flyer assignment, in midst of preparing for my own graduate-level community arts project in Reno, NV.

PROJECT A : The Long Holiday. Performance/Flyer Piece.
PROJECT B : Northern Arts Forum. Interactive/Flyer Piece.

A : The Long Holiday
Timeframe : 2.14.12-2.15.12 (Time Specific, In Essence)

For this flyer piece (which was actually conceived after
Northern Arts Forum), I analyzed the commercial holiday
Valentines Day. Being single, I had rather repressive feelings
toward it, as a lot did. I decided to go a very dark humor
route with it. I looked up an article concerning the 16 dispar-
aging facts about Valentines Day. Among the facts was that
75% of suicides were related to relationship problems.

A penny dropped. Does that even have to do with V-Day?
It seemed to be a cry for help, both in the article writing and
emotional sense. So I compared it to the recent Occupy movement
and made the "I WAS THE 75%" mini-flyers that I could post
in a very recognizable spot : street corner light posts.
Also, give the illusion that the flyer-er in fact did some
kind of deviant act involving traffic and their life.

The kicker : I got drunk before I did all this. This was in
tandem with my own feelings to the day and how to efficiently
go about the action of posting 11-13 of these down the Reno strip.
The lightposts turned out to be an efficient  tool in doing the
flyering, as they were "points of reference" for me to return to.
I did one pass by, flyering, and another documenting. As I was
drunk, I would not have noticed any old location.
I compare the depressed 75% to the repressed 99% of America.
Where does the intellect meet emotion? What percentage
of the emotionally damaged are truly 'physically' damaged?

Printed and sliced up into divisions.


B : Northern Arts Forum
Timeframe : 2.11.12-Ongoing

I created an actual, sort of rustic, art community for
this assignment out of thin air. It is called the Northern
Arts Forum. Run by the imaginary avatar, who can
be contacted at

In my academic art studies, I decided with this project
that is still ongoing to do a social experiment of sorts.
To test : A.) If students in the art school(s) truly notice
certain types of information that is attempted to be
fed to them and B.) if they'll be angry enough to reply.

In summarization, the letter commends student artists
on their strife in adhering to a certain philosophy of
imprisonment, thanking them for submitting to  the idea
of being an artist working for someone else and someone
else alone. That the artist is dumb, but the employer is not.

I may have made it too well, with the tacky clip-art looking
graphic, rustic aesthetic, and the overtly lengthly message. 
There was interaction at one point where the first time
this flyer was placed above the fountain (below), it was
seen removed the next day. I placed it there again.
And will, over and over, until results are seen
via e-mail. I'm hoping to get angry e-mails with
certain philosophies behind them. Or even better
(perhaps sadly so too), commending e-mails to me.

The full "flyer". I will update this
blog post as more discrepancies come,
which I what I am expecting/hope.

Thoughts on Andy Goldsworthy & Lucy R. Lippard

The Andy Goldsworthy documentary was a pleasantly surprisingly account of the trials, tribulations, successes, and failures that come with performing art solely in nature without a dime to spare (although, by this point, Andy must have tens of thousands of dimes to spare). It is the magic rarely seen on film, and a nature just as tiered as nature itself albeit simulated by the artist himself. It is the method in which he performs it which balances the tightrope between nature and simulation that makes it all the more interesting than either in its simultaneous rejection of conformity. 

Talk about throwing yourself in the action.

The work itself is brilliant, visually appealing, and with heart. Not without certain critiques on my end. First, I would say that its a regional advantage Mr. Goldsworthy has on the remainder of the world that he secludes himself from the urban sprawl. Perhaps that in itself is a strength of the film I am missing. Perhaps I, like millions, are a victim of the perpetuating parking-lotage of the world and envy the situation of Andy. Its hard to critique it properly because the film presents itself very well, with world class editing. Yet, that leads into my second observance : What is the work without this spectacular documentary to accompany it? A happening? This is of course being naive of the extensive photographic process that Andy Goldsworthy employs towards documenting his work. Yet, the still image to me does not do full justice to some of the spectacular work saw (such as the leaf-worm or the splashing red substance to create the illusion of a bleeding river). There is only such an extent where someone can remain holistic, even submerged in true nature. Yet, I would consider my qualms here nitpicking. It is a truly a documentary and art as well worthy of praise. That even a percentage of what Andy does in today's society is possible is breathtaking. Its spectacular footage just to look at.

Lure of the Local

The excerpt from Lippard's book introduction highlights a quote by Michel Foucault. "We are in the epoch of simultaneity; we are in the epoch of juxtaposition, the epoch of the near and far, of the side-by-side, of the dispersed." Before, even in the early 20th century, it would have been unthinkable to cherish the local in midst of separation between towns and cities. Then came with additional transportation and connectivity the certain annihilation of time and space where someone miles away can be had a conversation with at fingertips. Suddenly, raising the banner of the hometown is not only economic, it is conceptually practical in a postmodern era where attempting to do the work miles away would be physical and mental suicide. Like performing as a sports team to the hometown, it seems essential to represent where the person is and add to the legacy of the artistic identity, context in which the work was assimilated, and be just as fast as the haste blurring about in 2012+.

There's simply no time to travel. Someone's done it for you.

There are ideas of my own which I connected to the reading, some of which are embraced by Susan Sontag, the author of Wanderlust. I know in a laymen's summarization that the journey is more emphasized that the destination. Is that not life? Now here's an interesting thought : What if the destination is constant? Does that not remove an element or barrier in batting time to create art? At that rate, it seems to be a constant journey within the self, whether that constitutes the walls of a place lived in  or the inner psyche. When it comes to making art that is somewhat passive, flowing like water through the attack of perpetual info influx, the inner self is the greatest battle and a greater majority percentage of that. Besides, there is the old argument that all exits off the highway look the same anyway. There's always a gas station, a McDonalds, and some kind of motel to service the weary traveller. As romantic a thought that is, it calls to attention that this kind of romantic thought is marketed everywhere. Still, I feel romantic about that highway feeling. Just more so at home and in my base of operation. Not when I'm alienated on the road where I know my funds are dwindling while I'm seeing the same romance I could've had all along, metaphorically speaking (or not).

Places have their own history. No matter how one thinks disparingly of their hometown or place of operation (I have theories of my own), these histories exist. Rather than fight them, it almost becomes a skill in itself of how to work with these known pieces of existence. Or rather, just as fullfilling to find ways to simply alter these histories themselves, and then act upon them as if they were actual properties of the town (see : detournement, conspiracy theory). In closing, it is not throwing rocks at ponds that the artist in this age should strive to do. It is adding food coloring to that pond to make it neon pink. Best I could come up with, but you gather my point.

Its possible. Work with the world. Not against.