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June 26, 2006

Tourism and the American Landscape @ The Cooper-Hewitt

 

Frederic Edwin Church (American, 1826–1900). Schoodic Peninsula from Mount Desert at Sunrise, 1850–1855. Brush and oil paint on paperboard. Gift of Louis P. Church, 1917-4-332. Photo: Matt Flynn.

Frederic Church, Winslow Homer, and Thomas Moran:
Tourism and the American Landscape

[Link

May 19–October 22, 2006


The Cooper-Hewitt
National Design Museum
New York City 

As nineteenth-century America rapidly evolved into an urban, industrialized society, the natural beauty of the country's vast untouched landscape became the chosen subject matter of many artists, including Frederic Edwin Church, Winslow Homer, and Thomas Moran. These painters recorded, romanticized, and sometimes embellished views of Niagara, Maine, the Catskills, Yellowstone, Yosemite, and other scenic locations, stimulating a burgeoning America to become a nation of tourists.

During the decades following the Civil War, recreational travel became accessible and affordable for the middle class as well as the wealthy. To serve a rapidly growing tourist clientele, hoteliers, real-estate builders, and railroad entrepreneurs developed, and eventually threatened, the same regions chosen by the artists for their pristine, untouched beauty. Frederic Church, Winslow Homer, and Thomas Moran: Tourism and the American Landscape chronicles the ways in which the works of some of America's most significant artists paralleled the evolving interest in and development of the American landscape while at the same time embedding icons of natural beauty in the nation’'s collective consciousness.

Arts & Ecology Programme, London

 

via Arts & Ecology (new to the Blogroll) - http://www.artsandecology.org:

Arts & Ecology is a programme supporting the work of the arts in examining and addressing environmental concerns in an international arena.

Arts & Ecology explores the current practice of artists, writers, architects and film-makers through a series of conferences, publications and projects that looks at local and global projects that attempt to communicate, challenge and sometimes propose solutions to pollution, waste and loss of natural habitats. The issues at stake – from the broad one of climate change to thespecific problems of desertification, waste and dwindling biodiversities- are being examined through artists’ practices, and through interdisciplinary dialogue with scientists, industrialists, government and environmental groups.

A key notion informing the entire project is that of ecology as a study of an individual’s relationship with their cultural, social and economic, as well as natural, environment. As such this is a broad reaching programme and aims to locate the arts as a central player in providing creative, and sometimes radical, insights and solutions to the challenges facing contemporary society. The information hub of this website provides a growing bibliography and directory of the inspirational work of many artists, writers and agencies that is currently taking place across arts forms.

June 23, 2006

Locative Media, Perspective, Flight

 reBlogged via Rhizome.org:

satellite.jpg

Locative Media, Perspective, Flight

The primary concern in locative media has been, understandably, location. This has been a great new leap in terms of art, technology, science and narrative. Locative Media Art consists of artworks utilizing locative technology to trigger artworks in a specific physical space.

Locative media art goes back to early experiments such as Telepresent by Steven Wilson in 1997 that was an object equipped with GPS left to be communally interacted with and moved while continually sending images via the Internet.

Another key development was the GPS drawings of Jeremy Wood in 2000 in which he discovered that by tracing his movements as he drove or walked with GPS that he could form shapes formed by the sequence of plotted movements. Other projects worked with Geo-Annotation which placed a comment or reflection on a physical location (similar to what hikers for years would do at posted signs on certain trails). Then came the project 34 North 118 West that was the first locative narrative.

34 North 118 West was a mapping of a four block area of Los Angeles where the primary non-passenger rail yard and related infrastructure at the turn of the last century and the original grand passenger station of Los Angeles (La Grande station) once stood. The majority of the buildings are the same but have changed in usage in time, state of disrepair and who has come to live and work in them in waves of development and housing.

Other buildings were destroyed over the years and only the ghosts of historical information and personal accounts remain. The project created a "narrative archaeology" as the layers in time were to be agitated into being. In one place would be narrativized data from 1936 a few hundred feet from a spot before a building that triggered something from 1910.

Now groups such as the C5 collective are doing work such as the GPS mapping of the entire great wall of china and then placing the coordinates in another location. This type of work creates a layered commentary and plays with form and semiotics as well as referencing the Situationists who developed absurd commentaries like a walk through the streets of Paris following a map of another city… Continue reading Floating Points: Locative Media, Perspective, Flight and the International Space Station by Jeremy Hight with Alexander van Dijk, Hz Journal, #8, June 2006.

Originally by jo from networked_performance at June 20, 2006, 10:46, published by Marisa S. Olson

Sculpture @ Abington Art Center, naturally

 

via The Inquirer, Fri, Jun. 23, 2006:
This sculpture park is a natural
At Abington Art Center, works have an affinity for the outdoors.
By Edith Newhall

There is no better time than summer to explore sculpture parks, and the Abington Art Center has one of the more abundantly natural ones around.

Yes, there are manicured lawns graced by works by such well-known sculptors as Ursula von Rydingsvard, but you will also come across sculptures in its woodlands, all of which are close to trails. The park's sculpture tends toward organic and natural forms - von Rydingsvard's included - not the minimal or hard-edged, which sets it apart from most other sculpture parks.

Abington Art Center's latest exhibition, "Inside/Outside: Treelines," organized by the center's curator, Amy Lipton, underscores its predilection for the natural. Each of the artists - Joy Episalla, Robert Lobe, Thomas Matsuda, Jason Middlebrook, Chrysanne Stathacos, and Steve Tobin - has an obvious affection for nature and natural materials that can be seen in the large works installed in the sculpture park and in the smaller works in the center's galleries.

The outdoor pieces generally make more of a statement, the indoor exceptions being Lobe's large hammered aluminum sculpture, which seems to swoop out from the wall it is mounted on; Tobin's roomful of "Exploded Clay" pieces, 13 large potlike forms that contain pools of hardened, aqua-colored glass; and Matsuda's wall-mounted segments of burned tree trunk and graphite drawings on handmade paper.

Middlebrook, Episalla, and Stathacos outshine the others outside, mainly because you don't commonly encounter whimsical works like these in a sculpture park. By contrast, Tobin's cast-bronze tree roots, Lobe's aluminum treelike form, and Matsuda's five sections of a burned tree trunk, arranged soldierlike in a line, have a more formal, even mournful, presence.

Middlebrook's three wood-and-rope squirrel bridges are strung between trees on various parts of the property, and are winsome and funny but also reference monochromatic painting. Each bridge's wood slats are painted in gradations of one color: yellow, orange or green.

Stathacos' meditative Refuge, a Wish Garden consists of a real tree at the bottom of the front lawn that she has surrounded with sand, benches, and baskets filled with strips of cloth, rocks, sticks and flowers. You can draw in the sand with a stick, pile up rocks, or tie fabric to the tree, as numerous visitors appear to have done.

The least likely outdoor work is Episalla's large scrim photographic mural printed on semitransparent vinyl mesh. Hung between two trees in the woods, the mural depicts a vastly enlarged color picture of the Grand Tetons that Episalla found in her late father's office; it is a bit like a mirage or an English folly.

The mural will be interesting to see in November against a barren backdrop of leafless trees, as Lipton points out, but it's plenty amusing now.

Abington Art Center, 515 Meetinghouse Rd. Jenkintown, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays (Thursdays to 7 p.m.), 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. (The sculpture park is open daily during daylight hours.) Indoor exhibition through July 29; outdoor installation through Nov. 22. Information: 215-887-4882 or www.abingtonartcenter.org.

 

Beached

 

via NYTimes:
Next Victim of Warming: The Beaches
By CORNELIA DEAN
Published: June 20, 2006

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. — When scientists consider the possible effects of global warming, there is a lot they don't know. But they can say one thing for sure: sea levels will rise.

This rising water will be felt along the artificially maintained beaches of New Jersey, in the vanishing marshes of Louisiana, even on the ocean bluffs of California. According to a 2000 report by the Heinz Center for Science, Economics and the Environment, at least a quarter of the houses within 500 feet of the United States coast may be lost to rising seas by 2060. There were 350,000 of these houses when the report was written, but today there are far more.

"If it is as bad as people are saying, at some point it will be a crisis," said Thomas Tomasello of Tallahassee, Fla., a lawyer who represents many owners of coastal property. But he does not dwell on it. "I cannot deal with sea level rise," he said. "That's such a huge issue."

Though most of the country's ocean beaches are eroding, few coastal jurisdictions consider sea level rise in their coastal planning, and still fewer incorporate the fact that the rise is accelerating. Instead, they are sticking with policies that geologists say may help them in the short term but will be untenable or even destructive in the future.

Florida is a good example. To prepare for hurricane season, which began June 1 and has already brought Tropical Storm Alberto, Floridians were still repairing storm damage from 2005 and even 2004, building or repairing walls to shield beachfront buildings.

Until May 1, when turtle nesting season forced them to stop, they were also pumping hundreds of thousands of cubic yards of sand onto eroded beaches. Florida has relied on this approach for decades, but after the past few storm seasons, there has been an increase in applications for sea wall permits, many from Mr. Tomasello's clients. "If you have a house or a condo that's threatened, it's really the only alternative," he said.

Maintaining eroding beaches with artificial infusions of sand is difficult and costly, and as sea levels rise, it may become economically impractical or even impossible. "The combination of sea walls and rising sea level will accelerate the rate of land loss in front of those sea walls," said Peter Howd, an oceanographer who conducts shoreline research for the United States Geological Survey in St. Petersburg. "So people with a sea wall and a beach in front of it will end up with just a sea wall."

Many people "want to disagree" that global warming is a threat to the coast, said Daniel Trescott, a planner on the staff of the Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council, one of 11 such boards in the state. "But the first place you see these impacts is on the beach."

The council is participating in a federal program to map areas that are vulnerable to rising sea levels, identify crucial infrastructure there and assess how much will probably end up protected by armor. Mr. Trescott said he hoped that the effort would put sea levels "on the radar, to start addressing how we are going to respond to this rise."

Elsewhere, scientists are studying data from ancient sediment formations to predict how the barrier islands that form most of the East and Gulf Coasts will respond to rising seas. "As scientists, and especially as federal agency scientists, it's our responsibility to think long term," said S. Jeffress Williams, a coastal geologist at the United States Geological Survey in Woods Hole, Mass., who is organizing a session on sea level rise at a meeting of coastal scientists next year. "What are the cumulative impacts we can expect over the next 50 to 100 years?"

Dr. Williams pointed to a plan by the Army Corps of Engineers for beach maintenance on the South Shore of Long Island, from Fire Island to Montauk Point. The project relies on historical rates of sea level rise, measured by an array of instruments in many locations, rather than on predictions of future acceleration, said Cliff Jones, a project manager for the corps. That is typical of the corps, he said, "to take advantage of what history has shown, as opposed to what might be predicted."

It is an understandable approach, Dr. Williams said, but "it is going to build up false expectations."

As with climate change and other environmental problems that develop imperceptibly, it is hard for people to see rising sea levels as a threat.

"It's a slow process," Dr. Howd said. "It's not something that is visible right now or next week or a year from now."

And the remedies are not attractive, to say the least. Few coastal residents want to see their towns walled off and surrounded by water. And few want to elevate their houses by 20 feet or more, as flooding experts are beginning to recommend in some coastal areas. The approach favored by many scientists, a gradual retreat from the coast, is a perennial nonstarter among real estate interests and their political allies.

"Socioeconomically, politically, it's an ugly mess," Dr. Howd said. [read on...]

June 12, 2006

inigo manglano-ovalle: blinking out of existence

 


inigo manglano-ovalle: blinking out of existence

june 23 , 2006 - september 3, 2006

The Rochester Art Center is pleased to be the first Minnesota institution to present a large-scale solo exhibition of new and recent work by Chicago-based artist and recent MacArthur Foundation Fellow, Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle. Working in a variety of media including video, sound, photography, and sculpture, this exhibition represents the largest and most ambitious installation at the Rochester Art Center to date, utilizing all major galleries and devoting over 6,500 square feet to the artist’s unique vision. As such, this exhibition will expose the scope and breadth of the artist’s oeuvre to Minnesota audiences for the first time. For his exhibition at the Rochester Art Center, Manglano-Ovalle will present a wide-variety of works focusing on diverse subjects—climate, immigration and emigration, power and powerlessness, the effects of technology, international politics, identity, and the possibility of violence. Frequently collaborating with scientists, engineers, architects, writers, geneticists, and others, Manglano-Ovalle creates objects that are both technically complex and formally captivating. Two such objects become the foundation of the exhibition—Iceberg(r11i01) and Cloud Prototype #1.

Iceberg(r11i01) is based on concrete scientific data of an existing iceberg drifting in the Labrador Sea. This iceberg was scanned with the assistance of the Canadian Hydraulic Center utilizing both radar and sonar. Using data provided by the Center, the artist worked closely with Chicago architect Colin Franzen to create a 25-foot sculpture comprised of thousands of aluminum tubes and rapid-prototyped joints.

(above)
Cloud Prototype No. 2, 2003
fiberglass and titanium alloy foil 11 x 16 feet
Scale model of 30km-long cumulonimbus thundercloud based on actual storm database provided by the Dept. of Atmospheric Sciences, Univ. of Illinois and the National Computing Center, Beckman Institute, Urbana-Champaign. Courtesy Max Protetch Gallery, New York.

Cloud Prototype #1 is a large-scale sculpture of a cumulo-nimbus thundercloud modeled by the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Working with architect Douglas Garafalo, Manglano-Ovalle has transformed the numerical data scanned from this existing 50 kilometer wide thundercloud into a titanium-clad sculpture produced by computer-controlled milling machines frequently used by the automobile industry.

Both works begin to comment on ephemeral forces such as weather or clouds while examining patterns of migration uninhibited by political or social boundaries. James Rondeau, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Art Institute of Chicago, states: "Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle is engaged in a process of understanding how certain extraordinary forces and systems—man-made and natural—are always and already in the process of remaking the world. As an artist, thinker, and citizen he absorbs and transforms catalytic ideas and paradigmatic events, adapting them within the context of a formal, intellectual, multivalent visual practice. ‘What I want to represent,’ the artist declares, ‘is how the world represents itself to us.’ Over the course of the last decade, his protean achievements include, but are not limited to, activist-inspired public art, sculpture, film, sound, and photography—all of which fuse the politics of contemporary urban culture with poetic meditations on aesthetics, history, and identity." (James Rondeau, Event Horizons, Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, Fudacion "la Caixa" 2003.)

About the Artist

Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle was born in Madrid, Spain and currently lives in Chicago, Illinois. He is a member of the faculty at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has received the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, a Media Arts Award (1997-2001) from the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio, a Media Arts Residency (1998-2000) from the Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington in Seattle, an ArtPace Foundation International Artist Residency Fellowship (1997) in San Antonio, Texas, and a National Endowment for the Arts Visual Artist Fellowship (1995).

Exhibition Catalog

A fully-illustrated exhibition catalog will offer critical essays by Kris Douglas, Chief Curator of the Rochester Art Center, Claire Barliant, Associate Editor of ARTFORUM, and an interview with Manglano-Ovalle by Yasmil Raymond, Assistant Curator at the Walker Art Center.