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Things have been fast paced in the last few weeks.  I would normally be writing this from Queenstown, New Zealand where I have been based for the past thirteen winters however a month ago a new opportunity arose in Chile, specifically in Portillo.  So since making the move and taking on the challenge of learning a language in no time at all I am here in Portillo, Chile.  I spent two weeks in Santiago at a language school which gave me the basics and now I am in the thick of it trying to teach English, Spanish and Brazilian guests to snowboard.  I have to admit the office is pretty inspiring.

Whilst in Santiago I made a day trip to a city a couple of hours away call Valparaiso.  This is an inspiring city with a bubbling creative scene.  The street walls are painted in vivid colours and in addition some of the best street art I have seen in a long time.

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I am starting to build some new works around the digital collage that I made last year in Athens, Greece.  I hope to have a new piece up and running sooner rather than later.  I am also putting together final plans for my time in Armenia in October at the ACSL artist residency.  My nomadic life will continue for now, however I am looking for a base to create some works that are ready to be fabricated.  I guess this will always be the balance with this lifestyle and trying to balance the two sides of my life.

 

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Alfredo (low)

The practice of Nicolás Lamas is full of playful process based works.  Using process, objects and a systematic use of language to explore the gaps within what others see as certainties.  The inquisitive nature of his various works explore past the obvious, simple techniques alongside conceptual installations allow your mind to wander.  Little gems of information are offered which allow your understanding to enquire as to what further levels of information Lamas is presenting.  It is good to see an artist who does this allowing a viewer to become engaged through entry points whilst also taking them on a tour of further concepts that could be over looked without this engagement.  Click here for his Website.

Anne Marie (low)

Nicolas (low)

Interaction between two spaces(low) Interaction between two spaces2(low)
Nothing comes from nothing?

2013

Method

Todas las palabras que no entiendo de la versión alemana de la Teoría de la Relatividad de Albert Einstein, son lijadas y sus restos son acumulados al lado del libro. A través de este método intento simplificar y acceder de manera absurda al contenido de las ideas expuestas en el texto. Todas las palabras que quedan en el libro son perfectamente entendidas por mí, pero el sentido y la complejidad de las ideas planteadas originalmente en el libro han sido deformadas a través de este ejercicio.21,5 x 15 cm (libro).
My limited knowledge of a language (German) is taken as the starting point for this work, where I sand all the words and mathematical equations that I don’t understand in the book of the Theory of Relativity of A. Einstein. The result of this action is a disjointed text where I can understand each word of the book but not the meaning of the ideas in the original version. The sanded words and equations become a mound of remains next to the book.
20 x 16 cm (book).

Layers of meaning

2012
Proyección de collages digitales realizados a partir de la documentación fotográfica de diferentes exposiciones encontradas en internet. Dimensiones variables.
 
Projection of digital collages made ​​from photographic documentation of different art exhibitions found on the Internet. Dimensions variable.

 

An Excursion Into LA’s Mojave Hinterland at the CLUI Desert Research Station

Kim Stringfellow
Re-blogged from KCET
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The Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI) has always occupied a somewhat paradoxical space–one that is informatively neutral but at the same time also subtly provocative. This aspect allows its organizers to penetrate often, impenetrable places such as the Nevada Test Site. Indeed, the CLUI is as well known inside the art world as it is outside of it. It is in fact one of the more internationally well-known and respected interdisciplinary entities in contemporary art that often does not appear as an arts organization at all but instead as a highly creative interpretive center for some institutional-like agency.

Founded in 1994 by the Center’s director, Matthew Coolidge along with various CLUI associates as a research and educational organization whose mission is “dedicated to the increase and diffusion of information about how the nation’s lands are apportioned, utilized, and perceived.” The CLUI stipulate that “the manmade landscape is a cultural inscription, that can be read to better understand who we are, and what we are doing.” The Center is interested in multiple interpretations of landscape from a variety of perspectives and points of view.

The Center supports and presents a variety of exhibition programs at its main exhibition and office location in Culver City, CA adjacent to another SoCal gem of hard-to-classify arts practice–The Museum of Jurassic Technology. The Culver City location also features a bookstore where one may sign up for the Center’s newsletter, The Lay of the Land and purchase various Center produced publications. The CLUI also organizes highly popular bus tour trips. Its years of research have been organized into a publicly accessible online Land Use Database. On occasion, the Center hosts outside researchers though its Independent Interpreter Series.

The Center for Land Use Interpretation Desert Research Station. | Photo: Kim Stringfellow.

The Center for Land Use Interpretation Desert Research Station. | Photo: Kim Stringfellow.

The Center’s American Land Museum is a group of associated satellite locations including the Wendover facility located deep within the Great Basin at the Nevada/Utah border adjacent to Utah’s Great Salt Lake–home of land speed records and Robert Smithson’sSpiral Jetty. Here resides the Center’s Wendover artist residency program at a former WWII training airbase whose claim to fame is its role supporting the first atomic bombing missions dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Wendover visitors may casually visit the Enola Gay hanger that housed the B-29 bomber that forever sealed Hiroshima’s nuclear fate, later immortalized in early Richard Misrach photographs.

Other field office locations and facilities include the Gulf States Field Office in Houston, TX; the Northeast Field Office in Troy, NY; the New Mexico Field Site outside of Albuquerque, NM; the Central States Exhibit Unit in Lebanon, KS and the Desert Research Station located in Hinkley, CA.

Opened in 2000 as part of the Museum of Contemporary Art’s exhibition Flight Patterns, the Desert Research Station (DRS) focuses on the California Desert region, specifically the Mojave Desert extending from Los Angeles outward fringes within the Antelope Valley eastward into Las Vegas, Death Valley, and the Mojave National Preserve–essentially “the desert beltway around the hinterlands of Los Angeles.” Exhibits are open year-round to the public and are accessible as self-guided gallery walk-throughs (visitors must access the facility through the combination keypad after phoning the CLUI during regular business hours for the access code; call-in information is located at the door). The DRS grounds include interpretive walking trails with signage exhibits. Additional facilities on site are available for researchers conducting operations with the CLUI.

Walking Trail. | Photo: Courtesy of CLUI.

Walking Trail. | Photo: Courtesy of CLUI.

Recent projects include several sound installations “related to spatial dynamics of the ground.” Steve Badgett and artist and interdisciplinary artist, Deborah Stratman produced the Desert Resonator, a 75-foot long aeolian harp which reacts and interprets the wind movement’s over the ground into sound, using a spherical acoustic resonator. This permanently installed sonic sculpture’s “six 75′ long strings pass over dual bridges and produce multi-harmonic drones contingent upon the force and consistency of the air currents”–effectively translating the wind.

Desert Resonator (Steve Badgett, Deborah Stratman). | Photo: Deborah Stratman.

Desert Resonator (Steve Badgett, Deborah Stratman). | Photo: Deborah Stratman.

CLUI associate, Steve Rowell explores the phenomenology of sonic booms linking sky, sound, and ground in unexpected ways. Due to the DRS’s proximity to Edwards Air Force Base and Naval Air Weapons China Lake Facility makes it a perfect location to research and collection of such sonic phenomena.

Wendover artist residency program participant William Lamson ended up staging his Line Describing the Sun project in the winter months of 2011 on nearby Harper Dry Lake when the originally intended site conditions at the Bonneville Salt Flats near Wendover proved inadequate. Using a Fresnel lens apparatus mounted onto a mobile unit Lamson inscribed a 366-foot burn arc other the course of one day onto the lakebed. The concentrated intensity of the 1,600-degree point of light melted the lakebed’s dry surface, “transforming it into a black glassy substance.” When the project was later exhibited in NYC the project prompted the NY Times to comment, “Mr. Lamson can’t go back in time, but he can still go to the desert.”

 

William Lawson executing 'Line Describing the Sun.' | Photo: Courtesy of CLUI.

William Lawson executing ‘Line Describing the Sun.’ | Photo: Courtesy of CLUI.

Other current projects include a collaboration with University of Southern California art curatorial graduate students that is studying and documenting experimental aircraft crash sites found throughout the region.

Future research projects include those supported by independent/autonomous solar power systems, an underground bunker space, additional sound/space projects, and one concerning DIY low altitude aerial photography. The walking trail is scheduled for completion by January 2013 with a combination gate to allow public access.

For more information visit the Center’s website.

The street address for the DRS is 40083 Hinkley Road, Hinkley, CA 92347.
Directions to CLUI’s Desert Research Station: From downtown Los Angeles, take I-10 east, to I-15 north towards Las Vegas/Barstow. Just before Barstow, take Highway 58 west. Proceed approximately 9 miles to Hinkley Road, which is sometimes indicated with a “Hinkley 1 Mile” sign. Turn right on Hinkley Road and drive north 4 miles to the DRS, located on the east side of the road. Phone the CLUI at (310) 839-5722 for combination access code during normal business hours.

Top Image: Using the horns at the DRS, acoustic “binoculars” on the walking trail. | Photo: Courtesy of CLUI

Tauba Auerbach: The New Ambidextrous Universe

ICA London

16 Apr 2014 – 15 Jun 2014

Review by Catrin Davies

There seems to be an obvious juxtaposition between the mathematical logic of symmetry and the mind-expanding potential of a parallel world. Yet the two are mutually inclusive in Tauba Auerbach’s first UK solo exhibition at the ICA where a series of immaculately conceived and crafted sculptures (and one photograph) represent theories on an alternate universe, existing parallel to our own.

‘The New Ambidextrous Universe’ is not just a dumping ground for all those left-handed people you never meet, it’s the space where Tauba Auerbach pairs physics and art, where sculptures almost intertwine but never quite (Square Helix II) and reflections are captured, distorted and reflected back to the viewer (Prism Scan II). It’s a collection of considered, visual palindromes.

It’s testament to Auerbach’s art that she is able to distil such complex theories into the sparsely arranged gallery; there are just seven works of art in total and the colour, texture and form of each are as controlled as her ideas. As ever in her work, the intellectual concept is deeply imbedded in the process, placement and materiality of her sculptures. The title of the exhibition is taken from Martin Gardner’s ‘The New Ambidextrous Universe’, a tome which explores the duality of a mirror universe and the idea of ‘chirality’ (when an opposite is not exact). Inspired by this concept, Auerbach has created powder-coated steel sculptures reminiscent of knit stitches and hook-and-eye closures, which mirror each other in form, interlocking, but never touching. On the floor two almost identical installations – ‘The New Ambidextrous Universe III’ and ‘The New Ambidextrous Universe IV’ – are constructed from raw plywood, but have been manipulated by hand to create parallel, but unidentical versions of one another.

Auerbach’s precise aesthetic and colour palette fits neatly into the ICA’s Lower Gallery. There’s an inherent tactility to her work and it’s no surprise that in the past she has dabbled in the design world too. She has a natural instinct for colour and space. And if this is what the other world looks like, I want in.

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SNEHTA Press Release:

“Things are Different Now”
Snehta Resident Artists Annual Show (2013-2014)

15-18 MAY
Booth P13, Art Athina Platforms Projects, Faliro Pavilion (TaeKwon Do), 2 Moraitini Str., Faliron Delta

Participating artists:
Elliott Burns, Jack Burton, Catriona Gallagher, Boris Lafargue, Andrew Peter Mason, Dickie Webb

Organized by:
Irini Bachlitzanaki, Becky Campbell & Augustus Veinoglou for Snehta Residency, Athens

Things are Different Now brings together work by six artists who completed an artists’ residency at Snehta in
the past year and is the second annual show of residents. The works on show were either created in Athens
or shortly after the resident artists’ stay at Snehta. While they are the result of distinct artistic practices,
seen together they bring to the fore issues of location and dislocation, change and movement as well as the
experience of time and space and the way this is worked through and inscribed on an individual piece of art.

I made a new version of a work that I have continued to use as the basis of my thoughts since Athens, the work titled;

Concept of Since: 24 Options,

4 words

24 orders

Multiple meanings.

Merleau-Ponty described space, as having many meanings and it is only how it is phrased/spoken that gives it meaning.

The current Athenian landscape can be read in different ways by those who live/visit here. It has multiple meanings and like most cities and countries are hard to interpret. This work asks people to consider these short statements in relation to their current landscape, asking them to question their own experience of the here and now. Whilst some viewers will be hung up on the negative others will see opportunity in with each rendition.

Thanks for the SNEHTA team for organising this and making this a success.

Art Athina runs from 15th – 18th of May click here for the website.

Click here for SNEHTA website

 

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Matt Calderwood – Interrupted Projections sees 3D and 2D meet with direct prints taken from 3D and presented in 2D.  A simple yet effective translation which creates a dialogue between the two dimensions.  It is however the decisions and errors in this translation that intrigue me, like with a lot of visual attraction its the flaws that have the detail and interest.  This exhibition for me portrays this in a straight up fashion, with such simplicity leading to so much more.  The 2D prints deliver new narratives and readings of what came before.
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Matt Calderwood
Interrupted Projections

opening Saturday 1 March 2014, 6–9 pm
exhibition 2 March – 12 April 2014
Wednesday–Saturday 11 am – 6 pm and by appointment

Sommer & Kohl are pleased to present the first solo exhibition of new works by British artist Matt Calderwood (*1975 Northern Ireland).

The title of the exhibition Interrupted Projections refers to mapmaking processes which translate the curved, three-dimensional terrestrial surface onto a flat, two-dimensional plane. No map projection can preserve shape and size simultaneously, and the larger the mapped area, the more pronounced the total distortion. Interrupted maps were developed in order to represent specific map characteristics more accurately or to achieve the best possible compromise for certain sections of a map.

Calderwood is interested in the fact that compromises are necessary when transferring a three-dimensional surface onto a two-dimensional plane. Where does the space between a sculpture and its flat representation get lost? Recently the artist has been producing printed images from a range of rubber and plywood sculptures using printers ink and household gloss paint on large sheets of paper. These works have always recorded one side of the sculpture resulting in something like a drawing of the object.

For Interrupted Projections, Matt Calderwood deals with the object’s entire surface. His central theme, how to follow the logic of objects with an economy of means, is always present in the background. For the exhibition, the raw plywood form is painted on all sides with gloss paint, placed onto a tyvek sheet and wrapped on all sides with the material. After a few moments the now gloss printed wrapping is removed and both it and the sculpture are left to dry. This process is repeated several times. The sculpture hereby becomes subject, tool and object for the image production.  At the same time the images resulting from this process are like a set of maps for the sculpture. Like a cartographer’s interrupted projection where there are cuts in the image to allow the flattening of the globe’s surface with minimal distortion, the necessary folds in the fabric as it negotiates the three-dimensional surface create similar interruptions and compromises within the prints.

Matt Calderwood lives and works in London. 2013 he had solo exhibitions at the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill On Sea (UK) and at Baltic 39 in Newcastle upon Tyne (UK).

For further information and/or images please contact Sommer & Kohl.

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It seems like an age since last updating my blog.  For what has been a time without internet it is refreshing to come back to it.  One of the first exhibitions that I will only just miss when I fly home from Japan is Alex Dordoy: Persistencebeatsresistance at Inverleith House in Edinburgh.  For those that are around it will be on till the 23rd of March.  Here is the press release:

Alex Dordoy: Persistencebeatsresistance
Inverleith Gallery, Edinburgh
19 January – 23 March 2014
Review by Catherine Spencer

Although Alex Dordoy’s work explicitly engages with the continual development and concomitant obsolescence of digital and information technologies, his current exhibition at Inverleith House in Edinburgh’s Royal Botanical Gardens also attests to the strongly sculptural element of his practice. Across the gallery’s two floors, Dordoy has arranged a combination of plinth works and wall-reliefs, which address the legacies of minimalism and abstraction, while investigating the mutations established sculptural and painterly forms might take within the pixelated image-overload of online culture.

The plinth works, which Dordoy has christened ‘Congsumers’, consist of rectangular blocks covered with patterns and images, some of which Dordoy has lifted from a jadeite pattern found on Chinese graves, while others are reminiscent of circuit-board imagery and hastily grabbed screen-shots. Embedded at their summits, like discarded fetish objects from an abandoned civilization, Dordy has implanted found items including a defunct MacBook and Converse Hi-Top trainers. These pieces feel deliberately glitchy and overblown, infused with the self-reflexive hyper-awareness of contemporary signs and symbols – and the rapidity with which they are embraced and then cast off – that informs thousands of social media profiles and YouTube videos.

The spectre of outmoded technologies also shadows Dordoy’s ‘Dialta Cuts’, silicone casts made from old photocopiers whose rubbery epidermises hang from the walls. Through the casting process, hard materials are transmuted into yielding ones, while the negative space around the redundant machines takes haunting form. The intricacy of these pieces is very beautiful, but their bodily inferences have the same disconcerting effect as Claes Oldenburg’s soft sculptures, and the latex excrescences of Louise Bourgeois and Eva Hesse. Dordoy mobilizes this blurring between body and object to reflect on the longstanding convergence and tension between the human hand and the technologies it has invented.

In this respect, Dordoy’s exploration of computing and scanning technologies reflects another lineage within abstraction, represented by the work of pioneering computer artists like Manfred Mohr, Georg Nees, and James Faure-Walker. This is particularly apparent in ‘Folded, unfolded, sunk and scanned No. 50’ (2014), part of a series that take their star-like relief-forms from the paper folds required to make a paper plane, which Dordoy then builds up using jesmonite and fiberglass. Dordoy overlays this shape, which comes gently forward from the wall, with abstracted, fractal-like patterns through toner transfer to convey a process of deterioration and breakdown. This work, together with ‘Westerhope’ (2014) and ‘King Pitta’ (2014), which combine oil paint and watercolour with toner transfer, posit that abstraction, far from being the sole prerogative of modernist painting, can also be understood as a post-medium condition that has always accompanied computer and information technologies.

Equally, Dordoy’s installations of ridged sheets of polycarbonate, often used in the construction of greenhouses, underline minimalism’s technological and design affinities. Combined with fluorescent bulbs, these works are the coldest in the exhibition, blending perfectly with the bleached light which floods into Inverleith House during the winter, when the branches of the Botanical Gardens are bare. This isn’t to suggest, however, that Dordoy is without a sense of humour: in the downstairs gallery, looking out over the elegant park and the equally elegant Edinburgh skyline, sits a white totem-pole created from stacked busts of Karl Marx. The original bust was carved many years ago by Dordoy’s father, so that the work feels on the one hand like a personal tribute, laced with a touch of more general nostalgia for the passing of political convictions. On the other, who better than Marx to preside over an exhibition attuned to the precarious place of materiality within digital culture, whereby ‘all that is solid melts into air’?

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