Monday, December 13, 2010
While I would highly advise going to this exhibit there were a number of things that bothered me about the concepts within the art. From what I gathered by going to the museum, and reading the wall texts and the provided literature I got the impression that each book has a theme that it focuses on. However, without being able to flip through the books, or have pictures of each of the pages, or additional texts on each of the individual books the viewer is unable to see how this done within the books or what the themes of any of the books were.
Friday, December 3, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
On Wednesday November 17 Dillon and I had the opportunity to go downtown to the Museum of Arts and Culture to listen to a lecture series given by the director of Survival Research Laboratories, Mark Pauline. Mark spent his late teen in the work force learning the difficult labor-intensive way that many Americans make a living. After just a few short years he decided he needed to go to college and after graduating college he began SRL in 1978 in San Francisco.
After his short experience in the defense engineering industry, Mark got tired of making things to hurt people and wanted to extract the hidden entertainment from these robotic machines. He felt as though everyone lives with a certain level of fear about the technologies that surround them, so he created SRL to extract the innate fear of technologies from his audience.
SRL’s focus is to create an orchestra of machines that terrify us while at the same time make socio-political, satirical commentary. A typical show put on by SRL spans anywhere between 15 and 45 minutes long and has a budget between $10,000 to $400,000. Mark personally determines the show size by tonnage of the combined robots, which can range anywhere from 10 to 100 tons of equipment. Many of the shows include elements that intentionally overload your senses, for example in many shows he has screeching, smaller jet engines, grinding, banging and my personal favorite the v1 buzz bomber, loud enough to be heard from 21 miles away.
The artist lecture, opened the public's eyes to a new kind of art, an art that attempts to be "the most original kind of art"-- art that is so complicated that it has never been done before, and shows that require so much time that it will never be done again. We feel that we are connected to this type of work because we feel that any artist's main goal is to be "the most original". Mark stated how his work was so far disconnected from reality, that he needed no explanation behind his intentions, other than "that's just the way things are". What determines if a work is original? Is there a point in time that no matter what one does, it was already done before, and we're just trying to make it better? Does a work have to be original to be good, or is the minimum alteration of “10%” going to become standard?
Roger Feldman is no stranger to the Northwest. As a young man he received his BA in art from the University of Washington. He also received an MFA in sculpture from Claremont Graduate University, and then went on to study seminary as well. At this time in his life Roger is a professor at Seattle Pacific University and continues to create works of interest for many people. Mr. Feldman is well traveled, he has works in the United States, Austria, Indonesia and England. His works can also be seen on University campuses such as George Fox University. All of Roger's works have a theological air. His creations symbolize the Holy Spirit, repentance and the tree of life, among other things.
The Brian Oliver Gallery at Whitworth University was honored to host Roger Feldman on Tuesday, November 16th, 2010 from 5:00-7:30. His collection of pieces is one of a kind. He used elements of water, desert, clouds, wind and rain to illustrate a theological basis. These were the reoccurring themes. He used renewable materials such as bamboo to bring another aspect into play. By bringing this exhibit to Whitworth he was able to connect with others who have similar theological views, to bring them a new perspective of the meaning of art. I believe that his intent was to show Christ in every part of his artwork. We may have to look very deeply to see the meaning, but it is always there. Christ is always in the background, and at the center of Roger's metaphors. At the beginning of the exhibit was a pallet hanging from a bridge, it was stacked full of old, broken objects. The counterweight was purified water. When talking with Roger he explained to me that this part of the work symbolized purity countering brokenness, with Christ being the bridge. The pallet of broken things represented the world that was broken but was bridged by Christ's purity. As I walked through the rest of the exhibit I found references to water, desert, and renewable materials. The wall of clouds in the exhibit represents the process of water evaporating from the oceans or rivers and being transported by clouds. When you were in the exhibit you could hear running water and rain, yet another link to the resources of the earth. Another part of the work was a wall of water directly behind the wall of clouds and next to it was a wall representing desert. In this work you could easily see the elements of the earth working together. I asked Roger what his favorite part of the work was, and he said that it was the sail that was being used as a projector screen. He said that it was important to him because it represented the Holy Spirit which plays a huge role in his life. These simple yet profound shapes have the ability to affect many. People can visually see what Christ is doing for us. They can also visually see the cycles of the earth, and the harmony that it creates.
Roger Feldman's works are different from other artists, for instance an artist who paints, such of Van Go can only bring out one sense, the sense of sight. Roger creates pieces that can be experienced by sight, sound, and touch. In these works you can actually experience the pieces. The viewer can walk through it, look at it, hear it, and make many other conclusions from their sensory experience.
At first I felt very disconnected from the work because I failed to find any deeper meaning in the piece. At the beginning all I saw was a pallet packed with junk, but after talking to Roger I found the deeper meaning. Initially I was drawn to the wall of clouds due to its aesthetic value. As the conversation with Roger drew on I began to find the deeper, metaphorical meaning behind the work. I then began to make connections with the work, by thinking about Christ in my own life and the analogies that Roger created. I found myself drawn to the metaphor of the world's brokenness and Christ purity bridging the gap. I then understood that Roger was creating a tangible explanation of Christ and what He does for us. In my opinion Roger's creations are unique and extremely creative. He is able to come up with profound concepts backed by deeper meaning. He creates pieces to invoke thoughts, but not necessarily only his own thoughts. He expresses theological ideas but makes the works so that all people can get something out of the work even if they are not religiously inclined.
Given the metaphors and analogies in Roger's work, do you think that many people grasp his true intended meaning behind the piece?
|Painting the Woodland Caribou|
In tandem with the book, the students created a sculpture of their animal and the Scouts painted them. An exhibition and coloring book sale (proceeds go to wildlife preservation) is forthcoming – we’ll post the date and location once it is confirmed.
|Sample Coloring psge|
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
|Artist sits and talks with guest|
|Art goers exchange a few words|
How important is it to unify an entire art show, and does an un-unified art show affect the environment of the show for the viewers?
Monday, November 15, 2010
|Woman appreciates Wilson's paintings|
|Musicians set the mood for Friday art walk at the Tinman|
|"Green Sky Storm from the Hotel Oassi"|
|Art goers enjoying the light atmosphere at the Tinman|
Thursday, October 28, 2010
I attended Chris Jordan’s presentation on Tuesday, October 12. Since I interviewed Chris before the presentation, I expected a longer version of what he talked about during the interview. His presentation contained many of the same eye-opening material that he mentioned in his interview, but he emphasized more on his projects than his biography. Chris Jordan began his talk by saying “There is nothing special about me.” This surprised me because I have seen his work and I do believe it is special. However, he insisted that he is not special, but just loves what he does, and it shows. It is obvious that Chris Jordan is very passionate about his work. His mission is to open the public’s eyes to different issues facing us as humans and our planet. First, Jordan spoke briefly about his upbringing and how he got to where he is today. Detachment was a key concept in his upbringing; whether it was detachment with the world around him or the detachment of him with himself. Then, he spoke about his project known as “Running the Numbers.” This lasted most of the presentation, for good reason. Lastly, Jordan spoke about his newest project known as the Midway Island project. He is planning on returning to Midway to take more pictures of the effects of the Pacific Gyre (an enormous gathering of plastic in the middle of the Pacific Ocean). The Pacific Gyre is killing most of the albatross that live on Midway Island, and not too many people know about this. Jordan is trying to get people involved and let them know about this present tragedy. Furthermore, Jordan is planning on bringing students and a film crew with him in the spring. This way, he can show people the beauty and cuteness of the albatross that live on this island. (More can be learned at Midwayjourney.com)
Jordan’s most well-known work comes from his “Running the Numbers” project. This project is all about the idea of mass consumption and human tendencies. For example, one of Jordan’s pieces depicts 38,000 shipping containers, the number of containers processed through American ports every twelve hours. Many of the artwork in his “Running the Numbers” project is made in Photoshop. He takes a picture of certain objects in different positions, then he stitches those images together however many times he must in order to accurately show a certain statistic. This transcale imagery gives people a visual depiction to relate to the number statistics people hear. Jordan described his work as being able to put huge statistics in perspective in a way that people can understand.
As opposed to such artists like Robert Glenn Ketchum, Chris Jordan shows people the ugly side of what we are doing to the planet, and evokes change. Ketchum’s works show us the beauty of the world and makes one want to keep it that way. Both artists evoke change in community and society. However, they both choose different ways to evoke such change.
I was able to really connect with Jordan’s message about the tigers and how their depletion is increasing at an incredibly rapid rate. This piece shows what seems to be an orange frame with a black background. It depicts 3200 toy tigers, equal to the estimated number of tigers remaining on Earth. The space in the middle would hold 40,000 of these tigers, equal to the global tiger population in 1970. Personally, I would like to see this frame begin to refill. However, how could one person make such a significant difference?