[caption width="719" align="alignnone"] Helsinki Web Sketch[/caption] As I continue to play with WebGL and the three.js library, I will generate compositions from photographs taken in Helsinki (until I run out of photos that I like). Check out the latest page and click through all the sketches.
[caption width="720" align="alignnone"] Carlos Rolon at Paul Kasmin Gallery[/caption] The title isn't entirely true, I did step into Carlos Rolon's show at Paul Kasmin Gallery expecting to walk out quickly, but found myself drawn in by the diversity of wall pieces. Upon first look, the work all appeared slick and uniform - nice, colorful rectangles hanging beautifully on white walls. I can't say that I really cared for any of the wall pieces, they are gaudy and not very interesting, but I'm glad that I walked through the space to find an installation with a television playing an interview with Manos de Piedra, Roberto Duran... a figure from my childhood. The hidden installation is much more interesting than any of the wall pieces as it does a nice job of capturing a specific time and culture that many Latinos from my age group can identify with. Rolon born in 1970 recreated his childhood wood-panel basement in the installation and featured excerpts from televised moments with the boxer Roberto Duran. Unfortunately, I didn't document the installation. [caption width="720" align="alignnone"] Carlos Rolon at Paul Kasmin Gallery[/caption] At Andrea Rosen, you can find David Altmejd's crazy, obsessive, sculptures that point to animation. I've seen several of these over the years and once you've seen one, there's not much of a need to see another. They are intricate and obsessively done, but not very interesting. I was much more intrigued by the face sculpture below than the complex, multilayered room scale plexi and mixed media sculptures. [caption width="720" align="alignnone"] David Altmejd[/caption] Jiha Moon's work at Ryan Lee isn't very interesting or worth a visit either, but I loved the graphic comic accents in the paintings and the combination of seemingly traditional ceramics with pop culture. On the surface, the work is whimsical and fun, but doesn't do much more, beyond appearance. [caption width="720" align="alignnone"] Jiha Moon[/caption] [caption width="720" align="alignnone"] Jiha Moon[/caption] [caption width="720" align="alignnone"] Jiha Moon[/caption] Keith Sonnier's work at Pace are engaging, but again they leave a bit of an empty feeling... more decorative than anything. [caption width="720" align="alignnone"] Keith Sonnier[/caption] [caption width="720" align="alignnone"] Keith Sonnier[/caption] [caption width="720" align="alignnone"] Keith Sonnier[/caption] I don't have anything to say about Andy Denzler paintings other than they made me long for Richter Gerhard... Though uninteresting, stylistically, I felt the need to take one photograph. [caption width="720" align="alignnone"] Andy Denzler[/caption] Ralf Schmerberg nice colorful prints of random things he encounters are kind of interesting. I like the title of the show "Greetings from our planet." [caption width="720" align="alignnone"] Ralf Schmerberg[/caption] Perhaps the high light of the stroll through Chelsea was the John Ahearn sculptures at Alexander and Bonin. But once again, I came away feeling a bit empty as I've experienced Ahearn's work on the street where it belongs and it's much more powerful than in a gallery. [caption width="720" align="alignnone"] John Ahearn[/caption] [caption width="720" align="alignnone"] John Ahearn[/caption] Nearly every time, I do a Chelsea Gallery walk, I find something redeeming, worth seeing, but this February, I unfortunately did not come across anything interesting. And to top it off, the fashion people due to Fashion Week made the walk really annoying. And sadly, on the way to the subway, I came across this horrific scene where an MTA driver lost his life. [caption width="720" align="alignnone"] Bus Crash, 12 February, 2014, NYC[/caption]
Studio Swine (Azusa Murakami and Alexander Groves). With so much waste and stuff in the world, do we really need to keep producing more? This project recycles waste - used vegetable oil and aluminum cans to create new aluminum objects via a mobile foundry. It's an inspiring project executed in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
In 2012, as I worked on an installation for the New York Hall of Science titled "a geography of being | una geografia de ser," I enlisted the help of undocumented immigrant activists Cesar and Vishal. I asked them to help me conceptualize a video game that would portray some of the experiences commonly felt by immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. We met a few times over food and had extended discussions. I found some of their experiences and observations so enlightening that I have been meaning to post excerpts from the interviews that others may find helpful and insightful. Below is one excerpt concerning day to day fears that they have lived with; fears that have been confronted by becoming activists and making their status public. Other topics include assimlation/de-assimilation, going to college, romantic and familial love. Listen to all the interviews here.
[caption width="720" align="alignnone"] Duke Riley's Pigeon Coop was in use at the Florida Keys before gallery installation[/caption] Artist Duke Riley is a pigeon guy and for his recent project, he worked as a pigeon trainer in the Florida Keys. As the New York Times Article "Avian Artistry, With Smuggled Cigars" states "He started the training in Florida last year with 50 pigeons; 23 went on the first mission, this summer. Only 11 returned." (The NY Times video is well worth watching.) The mission for the pigeons was a small political intervention... they served as documentarians or Cuban Cohiba cigar smugglers. Some of the pigeons carried small cameras that captured their travel between the Florida Keys and Cuba others travelled from Florida with empty harnesses to return with cigars. [caption width="720" align="alignnone"] Pigeon paintings by Duke Riley[/caption] The pigeon project's artifacts are installed in the first gallery of MegnanMetz until 25 of January 2014, where you can see the pigeon coop with the pigeons still living in it, pigeon paintings, pigeon mosaics made from sea shells and videos that the pigeons made as well as other artifacts. [caption width="720" align="alignnone"] Pigeon paintings by Duke Riley[/caption] The second gallery presents documentation of a collaborative performance along the canals of Zhujiajiao in China that re-stages a legendary race of the Chinese zodiac. A projected wall video shows the race and along another wall are mounted animal masks that performers wore to represent the various creatures of the Chinese zodiac. On the wall opposite from the video is a large scale drawing capturing the legend of the Chinese zodiac. [caption width="720" align="alignnone"] Duke Riley's masks from the Chinese zodiac[/caption] [caption width="720" align="alignnone"] Chinese zodiac by Duke Riley[/caption] [caption width="720" align="alignnone"] Chinese zodiac by Duke Riley[/caption] [caption width="720" align="alignnone"] Chinese zodiac by Duke Riley[/caption]
[caption width="720" align="alignnone"] Alex Prager at Lehmann Maupin[/caption] Alex Prager employed a soundstage in Hollywood to create her latest set of works. Near the street entrance hang beautiful large scale color photographs and toward the back is an immersive three-channel video installation that the prints appear to be taken from. As the press release describes the video installation
the film opens with a series of confessional monologues in which characters from the crowd scenes poignantly relate their own stories and insights, such as childhood memories, recurring nightmares and personal revelations. Suddenly, the scene changes and an orchestra strikes as a sea of people flood into view. The iconic heroine then leads the viewer on a journey through the crowd wordlessly expressing a range of emotions including isolation, sadness, confusion, curiosity and anxiety. The juxtaposition of character monologues and the frenetic crowd scene poignantly illustrates that within a swirling sea of strangers, there are countless individual stories and unique experiences unfolding.The concept is striking and the video could easily be longer by portraying more individuals in the beginning portion. In fact the small number of portraits at the beginning undermines the concept. I believe that commonly, individuals living in dense urban environments desire to peak into the lives of others. That is to have the opportunity to observe the day to day lives of ones neighbors or the person sitting across one in the subway. This has been a common motif in films as characters use binoculars or telescope to spy on the neighbors. The power of bird's eye view of a multitude of individuals flowing in a public space that is presented in the video would be enhanced if the viewer begins to identify individuals from the portraits. [caption width="720" align="alignnone"] Alex Prager at Lehmann Maupin[/caption] One other element that I'm critical off is the need to stylize the individuals in the video. The people in portraits were highly made up to the extent that they seem to represent stereotypes. This exaggeration reduces the gravitas that the work may otherwise carry. Perhaps by evoking stereotypes, the artist is reflecting on how mediated our lives are or that our lives are but a fiction.
[caption width="500" align="alignnone"] Barbara Walters vector style[/caption] Soon, I'll be launching an RSS feed featuring illustration of famous news broadcasters such as Barbara Walters. Each news broadcast personality will be set against the icon or colors of the corporation they worked for.
[caption width="650" align="alignnone"] Dorrit Little Opts Out of Student Debt[/caption] Artist Monica Johnson created the online graphic novel "The Adventures of Dorrit Little" to bring some transparency to the mechanisms of the student debt system in the United States. According to the About page, the average undergraduate student loan debt is $27,000 and the average graduate student loan debt range is $30,000 to $120,000. This country has effectively created an educated population in indentured servitude. The graphic novel is a quick read, however in eight chapters, the artist presents a concise and clear history of the origins of the student debt system and why it continues to prosper. If you live with student debt it is a very worthwhile read! Go to The Adventures of Dorrit Little by Monica McKelvey Johnson!
[caption width="720" align="alignnone"] A composition with photography, three.js and rotoscope animation[/caption] Through the BOMBLOG, I just launched a series of compositions titled "Helsinki Web Sketches" that combine photos that I took during a residency at HIAP with WebGL code using three.js, rotoscope animations and video. Interact with the pages and click through them to see the various sketches. The Helsinki Web Sketches are designed for modern desktop browsers that support WebGL. [caption width="720" align="alignnone"] Click the water to continue in this Sketch[/caption]
[caption width="720" align="alignnone"] Don't make the wrong choice! Pick the word that isn't on the NSA surveillance list.[/caption] Play the NSA Game by choosing which word is a "Terrorist Threat or Harmless Phrase?" an NSA word guessing game. You will see two words, one is listed in the NSA's watch list, the other is not, can you guess which one is not listed? The two words are set against a blue sky background with puffy clouds, flying birds, green grass and a nice tree. However, every time that you guess wrong a hidden image below the natural landscape is revealed, a dark image of a surveillance society. Four wrong guesses and the natural landscape is entirely gone, instead a Google search window appears with your bad picks filled into the search field… Click search and your IP may now be added to the NSA watch list as you search for key terms on the NSA database. [caption width="720" align="alignnone"] Once you loose the game, which you eventually will, your bad choices will be typed into a Google search field, click search and risk having your IP added to the NSA red list![/caption] The project is a second of a series by artist Grayson Earle who a few weeks ago created NSA Haiku Generator that does just what the title describes. With both of these projects the artist is problematizing the fact that the NSA maintains such a list and the list itself. The games portray how inane the list is and contribute to their pointlessness by generating more searches with these terms by anyone playing the games. See a physical installation by the artist titled "NSA Lights" at the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute this Saturday, December 14th, 2013 located at 47-49 East 65th Street, New York as part of Hunter's Integrated Media Arts MFA exhibition.