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).