Tuesday, March 31, 2009

All for one and one for all

I been writing for a few deadlines the last few days and so it's been a busy schedule, however a lot of what I'm writing has to do with collaborations beyond that of intended practice. The fact that things benefit, in particular here artistic practice, by gaining insight form other perspectives. Reading Elizabeth A.T. Smith's essay on Buckminster Fuller and his influences and well his influence on many others is something I found greatly rlevant to this concept of colaboration. I have never thought of art to be ever a solution for much when it comes to present issues however I feel it is important I feel to approach art as visual contributor to a larger conversation. Though we say that as artist we are visual people creatures in reality as HUMANS we are visual creatures therefore it is crucial that our discourse material have a visual component of great substance. It also brought to my attention the information that scientist provide to artist and the information artist provide to scientist. It is a discussion a conversation and no conversation can be had alone and from only one view point to be productive.

Monday, March 16, 2009

by the dawn's early light.

In a recent post of mine I mentioned Bob Ross, the TV painter of landscape fame and cheesy art stereotypes across the board. Well reading the catalog for Manifest Destiny/ Manifest responsibility Mr. Ross came back to my mind. The idea of these paintings becoming a reminder or a visual record of what our surroundings used to look like, is too much of a possibility at this point. The cheesy and "arteest" stigma that this kinda work carries in contemporary culture is a weird paradox to how this work may be rethought. the fact that these images , oaintings, are being incorporated into an exhibition addressing current issues as referrence to not only how things once stood but of how much admiration and allure they held in the begining to start with is a weir dturn of events that I think is fascinating here. Typically I would walk past this kind of work and dissmiss it as just another image that would make a great puzzle but this is the power of words and pictures and how they corrilate in forming a complex dialougue of things that we may deem mundane or too common.

In the Art 21 video for the fourth season, Mark Dion made a remark which I think is not common in the way people perceive the condition of the enviroment and earth's future He said something arround the lines of us being in a place were we are in a game in which if we win we et to keep the earth, but how he did not think we ha d a very good chance of achieving that at the moment. Ok, this to me is insanely interesting. This comment is to me not necessarily pessimistic in nature but more so realistic and in a sense a comforting honest evaluation of the situation. It is often my belief that the voice whihc we all get our information from, wether it be the news, newspaper, professors, etc, is not the absout truth and that is very seldomly challenged. In respect to the issues that this particular exhibition wishes to address I think its important to note how in context is responsable material thought to the community. what do we deem important enough to care about? What will make the soccer mom stop driving her hummer to pick up her kids only to dorp them off to the nanny kind scenario? What will make the clerk at Ace Hardware realize why I was in such disgust and horror at the fact that after I said no bag for my purchases please, she threw the bag she was about to give me dirrectly into the garbage? Education is key and I feel it is not "manifested" correctly and appropriately too often.

While flipping through the images of Manifets Destiny Manifest repsonsability I came to mind of particular bit of a Simpsons episode. I dont recall the scenario of the episode much but basically the image is of a man kicking a machine on the floor outside of an educational building and a hologram of a tree appearing. there is a sign next to this which reads in memory of a real tree. Ok in the text we came accross references to early discussion of the enviroment and how it is not necessarily a new thing to note. the Simpsons eisode in itself is but 14 years old at most and that is still a time when the trend of Green was not such well a trend.

Monday, March 2, 2009


For the last month and a half or so I've sat across from one of Edward Bertynsky's photos in the Criteria exhibition at A + D Gallery which I work for for. The photo is of a "landscape" formed by the collection of thousands upon thousands of discarded and used car tires. The image is striking and beautiful in its formal qualities. However I find that as people progressed through the exhibition, one of the most common questions was how this photograph could function as a part of an exhibition which was assumed to be about sustainability. The truth behind the driving force on the exhibition Criteria was not sustainability but more so on how unsustainable WE truly are. A mirror effect if you will. The paradox Bertynsky's photograph presented was of how it was probably the most aesthetically pleasing image in the whole show yet it was the most blunt image on waste and an unsustainable culture.

I find it very interesting to think, regarding on this weeks readings; Creative Destruction by Rebecca Solnit, EveryCorner is Alive , and The Death of Enviromentalism by Micheal Shellinberg and Ted Nordhaus, on what an artists role could be in environmental issues and activism. Kevin Fueller ( I hope I spelled his name correctly) whom is the director for 2008-2009 , had a lot of interesting things to say regarding why he feels artist could be a better vehicle for communicating a lot of the present issues facing humans nature than scientist could ever attempt. His reason for this is that artist have a better sense of connecting to a viewer wile scientist approach a more dry and statistical dialogue to research. I keep thinking back to the Bertynsky photo and how it perplexed a lot of iewers yet it striked a strong attention and thought process. There are breaking of rules and ethics in a sense which artist have more liberty of playing with than a scientist or a politician. I can begin to understand exactly what mister Fuller means.

A lot of the discussion sorrounding Eliot Porters practice is how nature informs culture and how our sorroundings have developed into entirely synthetic enviroments. I find it interesting to reflect back to the Byophylia theory here because in a sense though our sorroundings are very heavy in synthetic material ,it is clear to point out that everything we have created comes from nature itself. Yes the tampering of material and changing of process has conscecuences, and a lot to which ar eevry clear and present threats. However I think there is much to say about were things come from and how in a sense earth remains locked within itself as both the scene of the crime and the provider of material. Im a little unclear of were im going with this statement I will admit, but I think the connection Im attempting to make is the connection between man and earth and how there is a conversation between the two taht continues even though our current synthetic world blurrs things.