Sunday, April 22, 2012

you do the math...

Another day, another measure! And We got continual film (this is a snippet of my mom (who you can see in my glasses at the beginning) using the measuring stick). Soon I will make a final edit... Also, here's the math for the measure- ((42 passes x 370 feet between goal posts) + 117 extra feet) .3048 meters in a foot... FINALLY!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

locked in my deep sea diving suit...

So, I'm looking for scuba gear. Actually, any SCUBA gear will do, should anyone have a line on it. Specifically if it could go with this suit (NO BLACK)... I'm going for a found object collection on this one. This was one of my grandfather's 1950's suits. Unfortunately the jacket was eaten by left handed moths. Anyway- the call is out!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Another week, Another attempt

Ok, so I'm a sucker for cat pictures.

So, on Orthodox Easter I made another attempt at documenting and measuring the ball. And, once again, had malfunction issues. This is getting a little tedious. But, hey, at least the cat wanted to help! My mom and I are now fairly assured we know how to get the whole process to work, and on Sunday will attempt again, equipped with extra cards and card readers and sunscreen and and and...

I make stuff with stuff!

So, recently my mother decided that the ugly shed that's in front of our house (and was put there by someone else, but held all of my stuff from when I "moved back" a couple years ago) has to go. Specifically, it has to go to a neighbors. Anyway, I had to clean everything out. Now, mostly against the side of the house, all my art work is living in rubber tubs until I can more thoroughly integrate it. Sigh. Nothing says "broke" like using your last $200 to buy rubber tubs.

Anyway, onto more cheerful subjects!

Yesterday I "finished" my first piece for the semester! This is the Pipclini! (so dubbed by Lydia, who was texting me through the process). It's made mostly of clothes hangers, sequin wrap, and pipecleaners (and bailing wire and blue tape, because, let's face it, all my work is made using bailing wire and blue tape. Uniquely, there are no drywall screws involved in this work...). I'm thinking it needs some of those silver Christmas balls to hang off the hangers before I photograph it.

Working in pipecleaners is remarkably fun. They have such a lovely dense texture and wondrous resistant quality. If I have time I want to make some props to accompany this piece, but we'll see... (Anyway, it now has a rubber tub of its own...)

Famous Costumes, Famous Birds.

So, I admit it. I watch movies for the costumes. But I've actually never seen "Even Cowgirls Get The Blues," just read the Tom Robbins book of the same title. And when you google "Uma Thurman, Crane Costume" this is the ONLY image you get that actually fits the description. You'd think this movie never got made. And how could this not be a famous costume?

However, we do have a sandhill crane event happening around here. They generally fly over in the spring and fall- high black birds you hear more than see, and only if you are lucky enough to be out. But instead, because of the odd spring weather (?), they have been hanging out. You can hear their garbles almost anytime you're outside, which is amazingly comforting, as well as watch their incredibly awkward landings in fallow fields right next to the road.

The pelicans have also recently arrived, the magpies are looking resplendent and the goldfinches are mostly done with the moult. Must be, Must be, Must be spring at last! There are swallows, dammit! Finally!

Anyway, back to the readings, and hence why these musings are relevant.

I read "Even Cowgirls" as well as a lot of hippie fiction (back when I used to have time to read fiction) in high school. As such, I got a very jovial introduction to a lot of fairly serious and also some very not serious topics, (specifically race, gender, body image, animal's rights, sexuality, the environmental movement, mental health, reproductive rights, pharma fun, etc.) basically through 4 white male writers - Tom Robbins, Ken Kesey, Kurt Vonnegut and John Irving. And, honestly, I don't think they did a bad job of exposing me to the adult world I was about to enter. All their characters are complex, sympathetic, passionate and, more than anything, they are diverse. Especially with Tom Robbins and John Irving, it almost seems like they try to take as many outsiders as possible and throw them into an unpredictable situation. Very infrequently is there a true "evil" component to any character, everyone is believably motivated.

I also read Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker and August Wilson, but they just weren't as much fun. They were kinda preachy, and I just don't like preachy. Also, their characters weren't as, well, diverse as I was interested in at the time. They told a cultural tale, but without the same joyous pizazz, and thus didn't hold my interest.

So, I take some issue when people tell me that the reason I'm not as interested in the African American Experience as I should be (Talking Back, Bell Hooks, Race and Representation, Maurice Berger, Age, Race, Class, and Sex: Women Redefining Difference, Audre Lorde), or that I should appreciate the rants and raves of people because they have a different cultural background than I do. It's not the background I have a problem with, it's the approach.

I glimpsed Bill Cosby talking about Trayvon Martin yesterday on CNN. I'm far more interested in studying Bill Cosby than any of the readings we had to do. His records were brilliant at talking about the horrors of growing up Black in the 40s and 50s. Maybe he can't talk about being a lesbian writer, but he certainly talked about talking back. He certainly could poke fun at the ridiculousness of the white ideal body, not to mention the bizarre idea of male superiority.

Anyway, yadda yadda! there's the tropes du jour!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Color Changes Everything.

I've been finding the coverage of Trayvon Martin fascinating, especially all the hoodie interest. And then I came across this display at Target, which seems like an amazing unintentional commentary. I don't actually have more to say, either about Trayvon or Geraldo, or Target, except that I'm wearing a hoodie, and I'm kinda proud that it's an act of protest. I had been thinking of following up the bikinis with a series of hoodies, but now that may be a bit too loaded...

Tax Time!

Here's a piece of ineffectual sculpture if I've ever seen one. Thought we could all appreciate that this will stand outside my tax guy's office longer than most of our site specific art works will ever hang out anywhere! yey! go art! By the way, somehow with no income I'm still managing to get $10 back from the government this year. Is that enough for bacon covered nachos at the Tap Room?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Go Go Gauguin!

So, I'm actually typing this on my fancy phone while sitting at the dmv...

Last weekend I hightailed it to Seattle, and enjoyed the Seattle Art Museum exhibit on Mr.Tahiti himself! Like most weekends at the SAM it was CROWDED, so I didn't get to spend quite the quality of time with the works as I would have liked. But, as usual, I highly enjoyed myself looking at the crazy sexist atheist who could paint thatch and palm trees with aplomb. These are lovely, candy colored paintings at their best, strange amalgamations of poetic reference and poor portraiture at their worst. What I can't get over about Gauguin is just how yummy his paintings are. If only you could lick 'em...

After seeing the Degas exhibit last summer at the MFA, this exhibit seemed heavy on the support materials (easily half the exhibit was Tahitian artifacts that should have had their own exhibit, but that's another paragraph...) and light on the comparitive artists work, which was too bad. For me, the references to contemporary Parisian artists' work were much more obvious than the references to Tahitian symbolism. Actually, compositionally, I saw more reference to Greco-Roman via dead green baby Christian than anything else. But Mannerism doesn't seem too far removed from Gauguin in any extreme, or so I figure.

Gauguin's carvings and ceramics, lauded by the exhibit, seemed rather silly and clumsy in comparison to the beautiful native works, and made me ponder just how much cred an artist should really be given just for trying, and sometimes failing, at other media. I say this as an artist who feels like they have yet to master any medium, and wonders if I ever will.

My goodness, this is a clumsy way of composing. However, in the time that I've been writing they've only called 3 numbers, so I may as well continue.

Other things on display at the museum included a room somehow asssociated with Jacob Lawrence and filled with collected and created stuff by a gentleman named Theaster Gates. There was a collection of trashed soul and jazz records that could be played into headphones, as well as wall pieces composed of fire hoses. This brought to mind the reading I'm about halfway through by Audre Lorde, about the understanding (or not) of alternative cultural, sexual, etc. experiences. In the room with the records was a wonderfully intense docent, who explained each object as having such great significance. Looking at the museum vatiety pack of records and looking around the dmv right now makes me aware at how what we really experience, as black, white, latino, etc is generally the "not quite" good. We all have to experience the dmv. And I dont think my experience as a white bisexual woman at the dmv is much different that the black male teenager across from me, except thinking makes it so...

And that's something that does drive me crazy. Why do I have to share Gauguins experience of Tahiti (and all of it's 13 year old carnal pleasures) in order to be thought to understand it? Can't I just enjoy my experience of looking at the lovingly interpreted thatch? Is it really necessary to know that he slept with his models? Can I just experience firehoses and records, or do I have to know I'm kibitzing on someone else's cultural identity? Hrumph! Art appreciation seems to have too much to do with historical mis-interpretation of cultural baggage, and not enough to do with plain art experience, too me.

As soon as I get out of here I'm gonna get a big cup of coffee and spend the rest of the day trimming up some apple trees. It'll be lovely.

Friday, April 6, 2012

minimalism, means, minh-ha

thought some Benglis vs. Morris was in order! Just in case you haven't seen these in awhile!

So, apparently I have all the readings out of order, and now am basically just going at them at random...

Minimalism and Biography- Anna C. Chave, Art Bulletin, March 2000. (we made it to this century!)

Critical Reflections- Trinh T. Minh-ha, Art forum, Summer 1990.

The means of Correct Training, from Discipline and Punish, the birth of the prison by Michel Foucault, 1975.

Minimalism and biography- which could have been titled "Who slept with Morris? And their general effects on minimalism as a result, with tangential discussions of Eva Hesse and Carl Andre." I'm not making this up! You get to the end of the article, and the description of the author is as follows "Chave has authored studies...and numerous articles concerned with how modern and abstract art...may be sexually and ideologically inscribed." Actually, the insight that minimalist sculptures are really just set pieces for performance art is worth the whole article.

I had the great experience a couple of years ago of going to the Judd retrospective at the Tate Modern late night. The guards encouraged us (there were very few of us there) to view each other in relation to the minimalist pieces at hand. To look through the metal tubes and around the wall projections. As a result I always want to get right up to minimalist works, which are now protected by lasers in just about every gallery. Boo hiss!

Side Note- on our recent road trip my mom and I created a new game "Public Art? or Building Debris?" It's great, you should try it some time.

Ok, onto Minh-ha- Really enjoyed this piece, possibly because it's only 2 pages (?). It's another article about just how far we've come- yeah, I know white men still rule the world, but I don't know anyone who can get away with not engaging with the African-American woman experience now. Do we have a great big thank you to say to Oprah? It's tough for me to imagine anyone being overt enough to say that any experience isn't valid. Ain't life grand?

And then there's Foucault. What an odd reading- Why are we reading about the history of prisons, exactly? Are galleries prisons? I now have a crush on the word "reduplicate." Anyway, this one is dense and, well, not my cup of tea. But thanks to having a friend in the car willing to joke about penile colonies, I've now muddled through. And may you all!

ok, off to enjoy the Seattle nightlife. Believe I'm now attending a benefit for a bike shop...

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Birthday Record Breaking.

The text says "I'm thinking of retiring"

So, yesterday, on my 32nd birthday, I remeasured the fingerknitting. Unfortunately, though this time I had a cinematographer, I still didn't get the footage my little heart desires (or, for that matter, due to technical difficulties, even comprehensive footage...). So, still no challenge in the works. But, the good news is that I do, for certain, have more yardage than I need. The record is 4321 meters, and I have over 4550. Right now it's sitting in my basement in 12 small balls, awaiting the day I will have the energy to roll it back into one big ball and go for the cinematic marvel that I'm in hot (ok, tepid) pursuit of.

Don't let the photos confuse you- it's not warm in TCs up at the Enterprise Middle School (go wildcats) track (maybe highs of 45 yesterday). But moving that ball around is what I call "strenuous," as is re-winding it. Michael (the cinemagician) and my loving mother helped me remove the cords, and I was impressed at how much faster I can wind a ball than either of them. I guess I'm good at something besides making tuna sandwiches. All in all, with all the help, the whole process of measuring and then re-balling took almost 6 hours. Sigh...

So, I'm envisioning a whole family of various cameras, including a more happily functional gopro (mine has decided to stop holding it's charge...)- the track is so large as to be difficult to see the entire thing in one shot. Also, Michael has put me in mind of many screens...

I'm sore all over...