Thursday, August 13, 2009

The World without us and Pods

This is a side show of various photos I have taken of places that have been forgotten by people and nature is taking over.
The second half of the side show is photos of pods I have taken to study forms in nature

New Ideas from August

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I am playing with bags again

In my search for the various forms for the plastic bags, I started weaving them on a wire form. This is my first attempt a bit too egg like but I had to work out how to make the wire frame and see the thing woven. I can see some possibilities.

While working in the garden I needed to put up an arbor for the peas
I was about to place this brown ugly grid on the poles when it occurred to me that all they need is a weaving to climb.

I can't wait to see how the peas grow up on the weaving and totally engulf the matrix.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

This is a sketch of a sculpture. A couple changes are going to be made. First the birds will not be all the same bird, second the weaving will be less regular. This is the story of the bird carrying the bags. 

Found these poor guys on the road the other day. The things I've been thinking about a lot lately is the details of life. The things that pass us by most of the time but occasionally it gets noticed and then it has a new power. I have also been interested in the struggle of man and nature. Really thinking about the place where these two forces meet or collide.

These are several drawing I am doing. I am working out a language with these. They grow organically for me and they remind me of the philosophers stones in Chinese gardens.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A friend of mine told me a funny story of her grandson and his beloved blankie named Linus:
Joseph can go no were without Linus and when Jo Ann picked him up at day care she forgot to grab Linus. This was okay for a little while because of the newness of being with Grandma instead of mom but after all the errands were done and Joseph is heading home with mom a very clear message was heard. Jo Ann’s daughter Alison looked desperately around. “Mom I need Linus where is it” Oh I forgot it at Sweet Pea Daycare. “Oh” said Alison “I’ll manage.” As Jo An was driving home she call Alison “ are you okay do you want me to go back to Sweet Pea and get Linus” Over the screams Jo Ann heard a very exhausted “yes please that would be wonderful.” Jo Ann being the dutiful Grandma she went back for Linus. Alison was ever so grateful.
This ensued a conversation about “blankies” Mine was Lambie I still have him, Jo Ann had Buncky and Tim had Matilda the pound puppy. Poor Marcy doesn’t know were Kooky is. Her mom threw it out years ago.
This got me thinking about things we can’t throw away. Either it has sentimental value or we have a guilt factor.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Baginatree sound and drawings

This is my drawing assignment for China, the page is 11x14 done with micron pen. I have bought all the colors and plan to keep this up using colored lines instead of black.

This is a sketch for a sculpture idea, they are meant to be bags rolled into balls as one would when knitting. To me they are like cocoons, representing potential. I have had this experience when asking the staff at the high school I teach at for bags. They have completely bombarded me with bags, and every day more keeps coming. This caused me to ask why do people have so many bags saved? I guessed people don't know what to do with them, even though on the bags it says "Please recycle drop your bags in the recycle bin at the nearest participating store." We have a lot of Market Basket stores in our area and not one one them has a bin. So here we have this packaging item that people just can't throw away. This lead me to think about string; during the depression my grandfather would get packages from the store they would be wrapped in paper and string. He would very carefully unwrap the package and keep the string in a ball in the kitchen drawer. He did the same with everything.

The video is supposed to loop. So the idea is the bag is taken out put back in taken out etc. A reflection of my own struggle of do I want the bags in the trees or out.
This will be reshot without the zoom and framed better. I haven't done that it yet.

American Beauty moment. I tried not to move the camera most of the movement is coming from the wind.

There is no image only the sound. This is also supposed to loop. I think it's funny and have thought of it as a "musak" sound going on in the background of an installation.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Collecting Art Supplies

The last 2 weeks have been very tough for me. I have a ton of ideas but I got this horrible cold that I couldn't seem to shake. I'm back in the game again and feeling up to doing things. Spring is showing up and that has made a huge difference.

Lately I'm reading about the work of Mierle Ladderman Ukeles. I have been inspired by her Maintenance Manifesto and Flow City. When I think of the bags in the trees I am conflicted. Is my idea to remove them because they are bad for the environment or is it because I enjoy my relationship with them the sense of discovery as I notice. Hey look! "bagintree".
Everyday I drive home from work and I see the bags they become visible. I start to see them as friends along my route and when a new one appears I notice. This activity of marking time and my journey is very comforting.
Then I know the reality of them, they break down into more and more toxic substances as they get smaller and smaller poisoning the ground as apposed to something like a nurse tree that returns nutriants to the ground and brings forth new life.
Ukeles talks in her Flow City proposal about our relationship with the earth. Earth as virgin, the untouched landscape of the romantic waiting for the swashbuckling hero to arrive on the scene, earth as mother the giver of life the always forgiving and loving, and earth as whore something to be exploited and used for our pleasure. All of Ukeles work at Freshkills landfill is to banish these anthropomorphizing visions that have become exploitations

So here is my own struggle: Am I making more commodity for consumption? Am I simply responding to my environment from a holier than thou perspective? Or am I engaged in a maintenance project of change?
For now I'm looking into maintenance.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Studio Work

Progress is being made on the drawing collage. I went for a bike ride yesterday and found a nice blue plastic bag. I plan on incorporating this into theses ideas. I am also in touch with a lighting guy in Merrimack who hopefully can help me get different colored plastics to fool around with. I've been looking for interesting shopping backs but NH is very vanilla when it come to shopping bags.

I am frustrated having to be physically in my studio in order to work so I am fooling around with drawing and collage. Something I can do while at work and do at 4 am when it's too cold and dark to go out to the studio. Who knows were this will go but I've been given permission to really screw up this semester so I thought I would take advantage. Opportunities like that don't come up often!

Studio Work

This is done in Illustrator and I am working on cutting them out of wood for now but I have found a guy who does water cutting so the end product could be in metal or glass.

Studio Work

These are castings I am working on. I am still working out the bugs in my technique.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Dream about AIB work 2/20/09:

I was driving along a highway and looking into the trees and the whole forest was covered in plastic. Giant sheets of clear plastic weaving in and out of the trees, it seemed to go on forever. I said to myself "this really is everywhere isn't it." I got out of my car and started walking among the trees I was reminded of Christo's Running Fence. As I walked further I saw a small path in the woods leading to a doorway as I walked along the path I noticed these tiny hollow shapes they looked like barnacles but in the dream I recognized them as mud dauber homes. I reached the door at the end of the path it lead to the common room at AIB. A few people were milling about but I found Cindy Newsome and told her about the path the dream ended with the two of us setting off to check out the path.

Here is a picture of a mud dauber nest for those who may not know what they are:

Sunday, January 25, 2009

January Summary

January 2009- Residency Summary
Make sure my ideas “have legs.” In other words if I go through the process of getting an idea, it’s really important the ideas will sustain me over a long period of time.I feel like the bag in tree idea has that kind of potential as long as I explore a variety of possibilities for expressing the idea. I felt as thought I didn’t get many specific comments of “you shouldn’t” except for the drawings. I was asked a couple of times why the drawings were there. I saw them as studies of the form and as a means not an end. Removing them invited more of the kind of dialog I was hoping for.
 I wanted to hear different possibilities of exploring the “bagintree” idea. Some of the different ideas are listed below:
I should think about weaving or somehow incorporating plastic with the glass.
The idea of the bag is strangling the tree 
Play with scale and various materials: glass + iron, glass + copper, glass + plastic, and glass + clay
I should collect a color palette of plastic bags (Recycling center in Dorchester MA, Chinatown, Children’s Museum - Rachel will be invaluable resource here)
I want to create a dialogue about what happens to the garbage we produce. I’m interested in how we are so removed from the process of dealing with our garbage. In my town we don’t have curbside garbage/recycling pick up. We fill our cars with garbage and bring it to the transfer station where we sort our own recycling and dump our trash. But even with this system we don’t know what happens to our trash. It goes to this magical place called “away”. I’m interested in how we ignore the trash when it invades our natural world. This is a mindless assault on the planet.
The next set of comments is about how I might present this material visually:
Am I on the wall or off the wall?
Ask myself questions about the materials I am using. Why do I use these materials? Are these materials the best to express my idea?
I need to put more unity in my artwork, example: tendrils in hornet nest window “looks like they came from another planet.” Funny that was mentioned, the tendrils were an after thought, I guess it shows.
Two philosophies of materials 1) truth to material 2) a transcendence of material.
Suggested I work out all my technical issues on a small scale…ask the question: “What would I do in the ideal space?”
Think about continuing to put text on the glass to reduce the seduction of the material.
Am I contributing to an idea or am I questioning an idea (either is good).
Think about how I am transporting the viewer.
I want to do installation work with the “bagintree.”  Some ideas I had were to cast a large bag to be mounted on the wall then use that as a projection screen for video of bags in trees. I would also like to include the sound of the bag’s environment. The sound of the wind and the highway is the bag’s world; it hisses, pops, crackles, flaps, and snaps as it struggles to be free. I have been tapeing some of theses bags for almost two years and they have a slow death.
I want to also try combining plastic and glass. 
I’d like to create castings of objects normally thought of as plastic objects in glass, a kind of iconography.
The most amazing thing about events like the AIB residency is one never knows when the lessons or inspirations are going to occur. As I was driving home in the snowstorm going about 20 mph down the highway I saw in the sky the funniest shaped bird. From a distance it was impossible to tell what it was.As the creature flew in front of my car I saw it was a seagull carrying a red plastic bag, on his way home from a shopping spree, I suppose.I really want to do a piece that is reminiscent of Kiki Smith’s “Destruction of Birds” using this image of the bird carrying the bag.

In my Crit Group: Adam Bernard (group 1 Painter), Cindy Kaylor (group 4 sculpture), Nick Mancillas (group 4 sculture), Trevor Spaulding (group 2 painter), and Laura Woolfson (group 3 photography).