by Janice Wu
My work explores how meaning, value, and associations are placed upon things in the material realm. I am interested in how seemingly worthless objects have the potential for whimsy and how the ‘inanimate’ mundane can reveal poetic and narrative possibilities. Through re-imagining the mediocre, the ordinary can become playful and even precious. Working meticulously in pencil and watercolor, my drawings reveal the intricate, tender nature of this medium and reflect the notion of devoting time and contemplation in to the easily overlooked. Through this process of investigating the quotidian, I train my looking practice towards observing the subtleties in my own lived experiences. My curiosity also lies in what kind of ethnographic experiences I can construct through my work. By studying personal material cultures, I hope to reveal understandings or realizations, large or small, of shared human experiences.
by Andrew Salgado
My practice explores the correlation between the concept of masculinity and the properties of the medium; generally based in paint, at times my practice also incorporates video, text, sculpture, performance, and paper-based work. The objective of this pursuit is to challenge a perspective of identity through heightened, purposefully self-aware representation, in which these representations refer to their own physicality and question their legitimacy and even the very nature of my practice. The approach taken toward my practice is largely the result of a cathartic incident in 2008, in which a hate-crime assault led to a fascination with the notion that substance might overcome the limitations of its physicality – and that my perspective might transcend solipsism and approach the political. The propulsion for my work is the notion that identity may be (de/re)constructed as a politically charged confrontation of Self.
I am interested in how my paintings might operate independently from their literal figurative foundation and engage with an exploration of color, reduction of forms, and triumph of substance as imbued with meaning and metaphor, overt, and suggestive. My practice is a process encumbered by the reduction of literalness in preference of a sensual and topographical painted surface. Through this process of discovery, I hope to create work that engages with a continuously forming language of painting and representation. By drawing attention to the tangibility of the work, I introduce extra-diegetic readings, pulling the viewer from the sutures of the represented subject and inviting readings beyond the confines of the painted picture.
With each successive work, I hope to draw attention to the painterly versus the formal, predominating the medium as integral to the understanding and formation of my work, and referencing painting as both ‘act’ and ‘medium’. Through my treatment of form and content, I ask the viewer to consider the technical aspects of my paintings, but also the metaphorical role that media assumes in my work, and finally the relationship of my paintings to a greater narrative and mythology, in which each subject is related to ideas of psyche and convalescence. As a result, my work often uses personal history to approach universal themes, and a politics that I view as deeply personal, yet resoundingly human.
I ❤ you, and sometimes hate you. (Taken with Instagram at Fifth Ave. @ 52nd)
Air: Moon Rock -
Air: Moon Rock on Nowness.com.
by Frank Schott
Each image was created with a combination of night photography and long-exposure photographs of the animation below:
Source Data for Photography/12:31 from Croix Gagnon
This animation represents the entire data set (1,871 slices) of the male cadaver from the Visible Human Project. The animation was played fullscreen on a computer, which was moved around by an assistant while being photographed in a dark environment. The resulting images are long-exposure “light paintings” of the entire cadaver. Variations in the movement of the computer during each exposure created differences in the shape of the body throughout the series.
by Ben Blatt
My recent watercolor paintings focus on enclosures set in abandoned architectural spaces. Bell jars, fountains, terrariums, monuments, and medallions serve as incubators for evocative botanical worlds. In these spaces I create safe houses for propagation. My controlled environments are ideal for growing and preserving a climate. Through these settings, notions of paradox are explored: upside down architecture over-waters plants; leaves open to receive foreign crystalline-mechanical structures; water is both frozen and flowing; carved stone crawls with veins, vast mountain ranges are somehow contained. Life overtakes life, perpetuating cycles of life and death. I choose to work primarily with the patient medium of watercolor, allowing subtle atmospheric life to fade in and out of precious worlds within worlds. I can render and blur with subsequent layers to create a feeling of memory and nostalgia. Although I mine past ideals of art history (Rococo, Symbolism, Wunderkammen, Romanticism, etc.) I intentionally use a palette that suggests a contemporary lens: shifts in CMYK colors evoke digital misprints, psychedelic patterns destabilize centralized imagery and color fields crack open spontaneously. Modern imaging technology provides me with patterns unknown before the last twenty years. Cell structures based on scans from electron microscopes act as cobblestone. Shapes and patterns disconnect from form, creating frictions in receding perspective. I try to entangle within all the detail and visual delight, a sense of reality slipping away, opening floodgates of the subconscious. My hope is that the intimate images induce a desire to climb within, to preserve what memories remain, before they fade away.
My recent watercolor paintings focus on enclosures set in abandoned architectural spaces. Bell jars, fountains, terrariums, monuments, and medallions serve as incubators for evocative botanical worlds. In these spaces I create safe houses for propagation. My controlled environments are ideal for growing and preserving a climate. Through these settings, notions of paradox are explored: upside down architecture over-waters plants; leaves open to receive foreign crystalline-mechanical structures; water is both frozen and flowing; carved stone crawls with veins, vast mountain ranges are somehow contained. Life overtakes life, perpetuating cycles of life and death.
I choose to work primarily with the patient medium of watercolor, allowing subtle atmospheric life to fade in and out of precious worlds within worlds. I can render and blur with subsequent layers to create a feeling of memory and nostalgia. Although I mine past ideals of art history (Rococo, Symbolism, Wunderkammen, Romanticism, etc.) I intentionally use a palette that suggests a contemporary lens: shifts in CMYK colors evoke digital misprints, psychedelic patterns destabilize centralized imagery and color fields crack open spontaneously. Modern imaging technology provides me with patterns unknown before the last twenty years. Cell structures based on scans from electron microscopes act as cobblestone. Shapes and patterns disconnect from form, creating frictions in receding perspective. I try to entangle within all the detail and visual delight, a sense of reality slipping away, opening floodgates of the subconscious. My hope is that the intimate images induce a desire to climb within, to preserve what memories remain, before they fade away.
The work of Laurent Craste lies at the crossroads of two mediums, participating in the world of visual arts, but never stepping beyond its borders. Ceramics, linked by tradition to crafts, requires a technical knowledge and know-how so restrictive that artists are prompted to remain within canonical forms, never pushing their limits. Video art, the recent avatar of the moving image, does not always acknowledge its main ancestor, cinema. The innovative aspect of this work is the combination of the two mediums with the addition of humorous or dramatic short stories, encompassing an autobiographical element that never descends to self-righteousness. The digital animation embues the stills with life and enables the self-portraits to take shape and meaning over time, at the very centre of the video, as opposed to the immediacy of reception provided by the ceramic form. The video becomes the critical analyst of ceramics as a medium, revitalizing it and making it a theoretical object. Craste’s plan is to be neither heavy nor impenetrable: the humor that runs through his work saves it from this fate.
In terms of narrative content, the criticism of decorative art is filtered through the stills underlying Craste’s recent works. The outmoded ideas disseminated by bucolic scenes, floral bouquets and exotic trash, are presented and staged to highlight their racist or sexist elements and the conservatism of the object’s owners. Therefore the critique of the representation also becomes a critique of the medium.
Pascale Beaudet - Translation / adaptation: Peggy Niloff
by Laurie Frick
All the good stuff happens while you sleep. If you’re sick, you heal. You build procedural memory, grow taller, resolve conflict, reorder and organize all long-term memory. Recently I’ve learned you dream in all stages, not just REM sleep. I’ve been measuring my nightly sleep using an EEG headband for over a year, and there is a definite pattern to the brainwaves, with much more activity than you’d imagine. It’s ragged with shorter bursts of deep sleep and REM sleep than I thought. I wake up a lot. Its apparent sleep rhythms are not so different than waking rhythms.
I’m convinced the way we unconsciously slice our time, waking and sleeping reflects the underlying structure of our mind. Capturing time-based activities is a way to reverse-engineer subtle underlying brain rhythms. Each work and installation I make is an experiment to find the exact resonant rhythm which tracks the underlying spaces and neural patterns of our mind. Not a total fantasy, this follows from an emerging theory in neuroscience.
I’ve straddled both the world of technology and visual art. Over the past several years, I’ve studied the developments in neuroscience and believe scientists will begin to unravel the mystery of how the brain uses memory to develop an instant attraction to visual objects and surroundings. Aesthetics, I believe is related to brain fluency and the desire to re-experience the familiar.
Mathematical proportions are everything. Our attraction to external pattern stem from internal neural structures in our mind. There is a human desire to find the neural mirror to ourselves, even at the most basic level — the firing pattern of hippocampal neurons.
I’m currently investigating the notion that there is a statistical pattern underlying all cognition. If you could capture the neural rhythm and replay it, in the not so far off future you will be able to replay and relive the original experience.
by James Bills
The connection between the inner mind and the outer world inspires me. In my latest work, I am exploring this relationship within architectural drafting and information visualization techniques. In architectural renderings, ideas are transferred to paper in detail, laying the ground work for an object’s construction in the real world. Information visualization, on the other hand, collects data from the real world, forming a visual schematic that is subject to analysis and interpretation. There is a symbiosis between what is imagined and what is reality, each feeding the other and becoming dependent on the other’s existence.
Golden Parachutes, my latest drawings, refer to the nonsensical machinations that came to light in the recent recession. The huge payouts executives received when their companies failed reveal some of the greed and back room dealing that led to the downturn. Our economy is this large, uncontrollable system filled with both random acts of fate as well as focused, immoral manipulations. Like everyone, I desired a simple explanation, and so I asked myself if there was a graph which could explain the situation, what would it look like it? Using a column chart format, I first graphed a set of completely random values generated by polyhedral dice. The columns are then colored according to how many other columns they overlap, as if transparent, creating different depths and densities marked by color. Golden Parachutes RXRXR, the first drawing, is based upon a set of data, but since this data was generated by chance, the ability to create a straightforward, analysis of the graph is negated. You can see a system at work, but you can’t easily explain how or why. The rest of the drawings are variations to this system, setting some dimensions constant and keeping others random. The whole series alludes to the varying levels of order, chaos, transparency, and bankruptcy we are experiencing in this economy.
by Luis Dourado
My creation process it´s pretty much free, even though I usually explore the same themes and similar atmospheres with different visual results. I don´t see any point in exploring always the same directions so I´ve been pretty much jumping from series to series. Still, the themes that I work with are pretty much always related to each other, I mean, series are somehow connected, even if this relation only come up clearly to me after a year, but for me as an artist, in the end it always makes sense. I´ve always been a nostalgic person, always intrigued with time and memory and probably that´s what connects points.I do not follow any kind of rule or method and does not make sense for me (at least right now) to be only focused on one platform, like digital, analogue, etc. I might be a couple of months only collecting information, images, getting stimulated and then come up with two or three different series but the whole process is very natural somehow, I love and I also panic with this idea of randomness, that I´m actually not 100% controlling my own work, that “he” decides when to come up somehow.
by Alexander Semenov
When I first began to experiment with sea life photography, I tried shooting small invertebrates for fun with an old camera, and without any professional lights or lenses. I found and collected the invertebrates underwater, and then shot them in the lab. After two or three months of failure after failure, I ended up with a few good pictures, which I showed to the crew. These inspired us to buy a semi-professional camera, complete with underwater housing and strobes. I then spent the next season trying to shoot the same creatures, but this time in their natural environment. It was much more difficult, and I went at it for another two months without many great results. But when you’re working at something every day, you inevitably gain a lot of experience, and eventually, I began to get some interesting photos—one or two from each dive. Now, after 4 years of practice, I get several good shots almost each time I go and I still have a lot of things to study about underwater photography.
The artistic duo Joschi Herczeg and Daniele Kaehr create light illusions using highly complex pyrotechnics. In their series Explosion, they built a custom-made detonator, which is connected to the cameras and synchronized to snap a photo at the very moment of the explosion. In this way, they were able to capture motion and time in a split second of an explosion. Their fascination lay in making order out of chaos and freezing an ephemeral creation; each image is like a chance sculpture – the artists themselves were uncertain of the shape, colour and size they would form. The explosions take place in a domestic setting to play upon feelings of anxiety and unrest.
Peg Furniture System by Studio Gorm
A family of furniture with diverse parentage. The shaker peg rail, the korean wall hung table and the lowly shop broom. A flexible furniture system made up of simple components, which can be assembled in a variety of ways to accommodate a multitude of scenarios. It can be just as easily disassembled, using no tools or fasteners. All components can be hung from a peg rail on the wall creating pleasing abstract compositions.
by Amy Eisenfeld Genser
The sources of my work are textures, patterns, and grids. I look for forms that can be repeated to create a pattern when they are joined. My work tries to capture the essence of an experience or an image I have seen. I often look to the natural world for inspiration. I am fascinated by the flow of water, the organization of beehives, and the organic irregularity of plants, flowers, rock formations, barnacles, moss, and seaweed. Aerial views of our landscape can also be compelling; it is interesting how the organization of our landscape becomes quilt-like when viewed from above.