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January 03, 2008

Pathetic Fallacy: Weather and Imagination

Pathetic Fallacy: Weather and Imagination

January 7 - February 27, 2008

Works by Richard Bosman, Peter Brooke, Fernando Ferreira de Araujo, Malcolm Fenton, Joy Garnett

@

Philoctetes Center for the Multidisciplinary Study of the Imagination

247 East 82nd Street, New York, NY 10028

Artist's Reception: Saturday, January 12, 5:30-7:00pm.

In his five-volume work Modern Painters (1843-60), John Ruskin wrote of the poetic practice of ascribing human characteristics, such as emotions, feelings and sensations, to inanimate objects or to nature, thereby coining the term pathetic fallacy. The Philoctetes Center for the Multidisciplinary Study of Imagination is pleased to present the exhibition, Pathetic Fallacy: Weather and Imagination, which examines diverse ways in which artists and scientists record, capture and analyze the phenomenology of weather. From the roiling background in Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” to Shakespeare’s tempests, weather forms an underlying context across artistic disciplines. How do actual weather conditions affect the sensibility of an artist? How does the climate influence his or her representations, and what of the impact on the viewer? A concurrent display in the Annex will address how scientists, track, quantify, and forecast—via meteorology—the processes and phenomena of the atmosphere.

"Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it." -Mark Twain

Artists Richard Bosman, Peter Brooke, Fernando Ferreira de Araujo, Malcolm Fenton, and Joy Garnett, through painting, photography and printmaking, consider the implications and consequences of weather on human activity, and vice-versa.

Hallie Cohen, Curator

January 10, 2007

Portia Munson: "Green"



via Artnet Magazine, 1/9/07:
PETAL PERFECTION
by Ilka Scobie
Portia Munson, "Green," Jan. 5-Feb. 3, 2007, at P.P.O.W., 555 West 25th Street, New York, N.Y. 10001

Portia Munson’s photographic flower mandalas, though contemporary, fulfill a mystical ideal -- their concentric structure reflects the shape of the outside universe while striving for a celebration of perfection within. Each petal in Munson’s mandalas has been gathered from her own upstate garden or surrounding field or forest. "In another life, I’d like to be a scientist," Munson said, a few hours before the opening of her show at P.P.O.W. The careful dissection and arrangement of the blossoms reflects a craftsperson’s care as much as the luminous hues represent a master colorist.

Munson, a painter, began working directly with flowers in 2002. "I’ve always been a painter, but I also give myself freedom to work in other ways. I can’t express every idea in a painting." Each limited-edition photo, done in pigmented ink on rag watercolor paper (the flowers are arranged directly on a digital scanner, and not subjected to digital enhancement), is the result of one day’s peak harvest, and reflects "what’s in bloom from that day."

 

Plucked only shortly before being photographed, the four-leaf clovers or marigolds are damp with dew -- Munson’s delicately sensual blooms bare little resemblance to the hothouse bouquets sold on city corners. The flora is so intense in hue and freshness that it suggests a psychedelic influence. Munson laughingly explained, "What immediately comes to mind is that I’m very allergic in the spring. So I am  physically intoxicated in terms of psychedelic visuals. I do love color, but I’m trying to make more than pretty colors."

Munson studied with Vito Acconi, Leon Golub, Barbara Kruger, Joan Semel, Martha Rosler and Harriet Shorr. She acknowledges that "my esthetic doesn’t follow theirs, but my approach has certainly been influenced." She also cites Kiki Smith and Fred Tomaselli as artists she finds kinship with.

In Bulbs, the symmetrical arrangement of flowers is marked by grape hyacinths, whose graceful tendrils end in the coda of the hairy hued bulb. "I wanted to show the whole thing," Munson explains. Interspersed with the purple flowers are dissected daffodils, with one perfect daffodil specimen in the center. Green Aftermath is a paean to spring. Adolescent milkweed bulbs, immature berries and weeds form a verdant rainbow, displayed as an artful cornucopia.

Continue reading "Portia Munson: "Green"" »

September 29, 2006

Robert Polidori's "After the Flood" @ the Met

 3_new_orleans_polidori_048_marigny5417l_1
5417 Marigny Street, New Orleans, Louisiana, March 2006

reBlogged via NEWSgrist:

via NYTimes:
Art Review
What's Wrong With This Picture? {excerpted}
By MICHAEL KIMMELMAN
Published: September 22, 2006

After Hurricane Katrina, Robert Polidori went to New Orleans, where he lived years ago, to shoot photographs of the devastation for The New Yorker. He stayed longer than first planned, then went back again and again, for weeks, taking hundreds of pictures with a large-format camera that produced wide, superbly detailed color photographs. The camera was awkward to manipulate through the wreckage and in the heat, without electricity and lights. At the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Jeff L. Rosenheim, a photography curator, has selected a couple dozen of these big panoramas and interiors to make a pocket-size lament for a woebegone city.

They are unpeopled scenes: New Orleans as our modern Pompeii. Mr. Polidori stood near the corner of Law and Egania Streets where a plain, single-story cottage with a hole in the roof rests beside a telephone pole. A crisscross of power lines forms a shallow X against the empty blue sky. The house, pale green and white, recedes, diagonally.

Except that — the image can take a second to decipher — there are two cottages, one green, one white. During Katrina, the green one, like Dorothy's house, floated clear across Egania Street from who knows where, stopped perpendicular to its neighbor by those electric lines, which acted like arrestor wires on an aircraft carrier, ripping open the hole in the roof.

If this sounds confusing, that’s the nature of chaos, which can be as hard to photograph as it is to describe. Fortunately, Mr. Polidori is a connoisseur of chaos, and the beauty of his pictures — they have a languid, almost underwater beauty — entails locating order in bedlam. [...]

These are photographs, in other words, without nostalgia, as Mr. Rosenheim writes in a short introduction to Mr. Polidori's book, "After the Flood," but with "something of the air that generations of anonymous New Orleanians had breathed in and out." They make "no attempt to excavate what went wrong in New Orleans or why the state and federal response remains even today predisposed to cronyism, gross fraud and corruption." They simply testify, as Mr. Rosenheim puts it, "to a city that care forgot."

It's good of the Met to remind us.

Learn more about this exhibition

View images from this exhibition

Ecotopia: the future is now

  Epstein
Mitch Epstein, Biloxi, Mississippi, 2005

ReBlogged via NEWSgrist; via Artforum online:

Ecotopia: The Second ICP Triennial of Photography and Video
By Lauren O'Neill-Butler

INTERNATIONAL CENTER OF PHOTOGRAPHY
1133 Avenue of the Americas at 43rd Street
September 14–January 7

The frank sentiment of "A Global Warning," one of the prescriptive taglines for Al Gore's recent documentary An Inconvenient Truth, is at the heart "Ecotopia," the second ICP triennial of photography and video. Yet the descriptive and thorny ideas in this sizable exhibition—from the "nomadic postconsumers" of the future (Mary Mattingly) to the black-market trade in endangered species (Patrick Brown)—save it from moralistic didacticism and fear-inducing value judgments. With an empathetic approach, the one hundred works sustain a broad discourse on the politics and aesthetics of nature. There are several affinities among the works on display here, but they are not to be found in utopian thinking. Depicting the fragile state of the American environment in their photographs, Mitch Epstein and Clifford Ross invigorate the exhausted genre of landscape painting. Diana Thater and Mark Dion, symbolically toeing the line between obsession and conservation, provide surveillance views of wild animals. A digital slideshow of recent ecological disasters is harnessed inside one room, with images of Hurricane Katrina's aftermath by photojournalist Vincent Laforet and of the Inupiat people (the first victims of global warming) by Gilles Mingasson. Marine Hugonnier and Doug Aitken hint at the paranoid isolation of blank space and futuristic "meta-cities." But is it really so strange? In this long-winded ride through the knee-shaking sublimity of flora and fauna and the disastrous exploitation of both, the curators seem to question how far empathy really takes us, and how much longer it will be before the future is now.

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.

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.

May 28, 2006

"Ectopia": The Second ICP Triennial of Photography and Video

via NEWSgrist, May 24, 2006:

Ecotopia: The Second ICP Triennial of Photography and Video

via Artnet News, May 23, 2006

"ECOTOPIA" FOR ICP TRIENNIAL
The International Center of Photography in New York has set the lineup for its big fall show, "Ecotopia: The Second ICP Triennial of Photography and Video," Sept. 14-Nov. 26, 2006. Organized by ICP curatorial staffers Brian Wallis, Christopher Phillips, Edward Earle and Carol Squiers, with assistant curator Joanna Lehan, "Ecotopia" features works by 39 artists that reflect a growing concern about natural disasters and global environmental change. "We found very few artists relating to the theme in an overtly political way," said Wallis. "Rather, the sense was of something ominous looming on the horizon."

Artists in the show -- many of them contributing new works or installations -- include Robert Adams, Doug Aitken, Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla, Wout Berger, Patrick Brown, Catherine Chalmers, Oliver Chanarin and Adam Broomberg, Stéphane Couturier, Lou Dematteis and Kayana Szymczak, Yannick Demmerle, Goran Devic, Mark Dion, Sam Easterson, Mitch Epstein, Joan Fontcuberta, Noriko Furunishi, Marine Hugonnier, Francesco Jodice, Harri Kallio, Vincent Laforet, Christopher LaMarca, An-My Lê, David Maisel, Mary Mattingly, Gilles Mingasson, Simon Norfolk, Otolith Group (Anjalika Sagar, Kadwo Eshun, Richard Couzins), Sophie Ristelhueber, Clifford Ross, Thomas Ruff, Carlos and Jason Sanchez, Alessandra Sanguinetti, Diana Thater and Qingsong Wang.

The ICP’s first photo triennial, mounted in 2003, took up the theme "Strangers," and focused on people -- often with the same sense of anxiety. "Ecotopia" is sponsored by United Technologies Corporation.

from the ICP site:

September 8–November 26, 2006

Ecotopia: The Second ICP Triennial of Photography and Video

Mary MattinglyFact Sheet [PDF]

List of Artists [PDF]

In a time of rampant natural disasters and urgent concerns about global environmental change, this exhibition demonstrates the ways in which the most interesting and engaging contemporary artists view the natural world. Shattering the stereotypes of landscape and nature photography, the thirty-nine international artists included in this survey boldly examine new concepts of the natural sphere occasioned by twenty-first-century technologies; images of destructive ecological engagement; and visions of our future interactions with the environment. Considering nature in the broadest sense, this exhibition reflects new perspectives on the planet that sustains, enchants, and—increasingly—frightens us.

Ecotopia is being organized by ICP curators Brian Wallis, Christopher Phillips, Edward Earle, and Carol Squiers, and assistant curator Joanna Lehan, and will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue.

Above: Mary Mattingly, The New Mobility of Home, 2005, © Mary Mattingly, Courtesy Robert Mann Gallery

 

April 14, 2006

U.S. Geological Survey Website: Repeat Photography of Glacier National Park

 

(thanks Christina!) 

News Release, March 22, 2006
U.S. Department of the Interior
U.S. Geological Survey

New USGS Website features repeat photography of Glacier National Park glaciers over time.

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists with the Global Change Research Project are unveiling a new website featuring a collection of repeat photographs of glaciers in and around Glacier National Park, Montana. The striking images created by pairing historical photographs with contemporary photographs reveal significant glacial
recession.  The website was created to showcase the photographs for scientific as well as general purposes. To view the photographs, go to http://nrmsc.usgs.gov/repeatphoto/. 

Currently, 55 images are featured on the website with more color versions and newly repeated photos added as they become available. Most of the photographs were taken in Glacier National Park and many of the historical photos came from the Park's archives. 

USGS scientists began documenting glacial decline through photography in 1997.  While less quantitative than other high-tech methods of recording glacial mass, depth, and rate of retreat, repeat photography provides an effective visual tool to better understand how climate change contributes to the dynamic landscape of Glacier National Park.

The website provides an easy method to download the images. It also includes an overview of the project, instructions for downloading images, guidelines for using and crediting the photographs, and links to other historical and repeat photograph collections.  The images can be downloaded as repeated pairs or individually.  File
formats include high resolution TIF images (300 dpi), lower resolution JPG (72 dpi) images, and Powerpoint ®.

The USGS serves the nation by providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life.

To receive USGS news releases go to

April 13, 2006

EcoPoetics Exhibition

 

via  The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival (FLEFF)

EcoPoetics Online Exhibition
Curated by Timothy Murray, Tom Shevory, and Patricia Zimmermann Selected artistic interventions from artists throughout the world explore the electronic interfaces between sustainability and environmental thought. Subsequently, they will be maintained in off-line form in the Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art, Cornell University Library.

This international exhibition probes a series of questions about digitalities, visualities, and environments to create new landscapes for contemplation and action.

How might new media environments and technological flows intervene in ecoculture and ecopolitics? What is the relationship between the techne of ecopoetics and the imperative of ecopolitics?

How do Internet paradigms of speed, flow, and traffic impact notions of sustainability? Do mobile technologies and global positioning systems provide platforms for ecological activism? How can we decipher and comprehend the military’s utilization of ludic gaming systems for digital terror and ecological devastation?

How might new media interventions offset media blackouts of the global ecology of war and public health degradation? How can the artistic mixing of ecological and poetic materials—organic, inorganic, technological, aural, and visual—create alternative and fertile environments in new media culture?

The exhibition includes works by Judy Malloy, Diane Ludin, Ryan Griffis, Ian M. Clothier, Andrew Bucksbarg, Thorsten Knaub, Sam Smiley, Olga Kisselva, Ollivier Dyens, Joseph Rabie, Lillian Ball, Katerie Gladys, Annette Weintraub, Tiffany Holmes, Maria Damon and mIEKAL aND, Agricola Cologne, and Regina Célia Pinto.  We plan to archive the exhibit in The Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art, Cornell Library,
following the Festival.

Digital Artists Selected for EcoPoetics Exhibition

    1. Ryan Griffis, United States
    The Temporary Travel Office: Parking Public (2005)
    www.temporarytraveloffice.net/hollywood/parking.html
    2. Ian M. Clothier, New Zealand
    Roll over Oe sun, roll over Oe rain
    www.art-themagazine.com/ian/pages/anim803.htm
    3. Andrew Bucksbarg, United States
    Consumertopia (2001) Duration: Variable-Interactive
    www.adhocsound.org/consumertopia.html
    4. Judy Malloy, United States
    Concerto for Narrative Data
    www.well.com/user/jmalloy/concerto/begin.html
    5. Diane Ludin, United States
    Version 3.0. I BPE, Ecological and Seed-Based Patents
    www.ibiology.net
    6. Thorsten Knaub, United Kingdom
    GPS Diary
    www.gpsdiary.org
    7. Claude Shannon, United States
    AstroDime Transity Authority
    www.virtualberet.net/ata
    8. Olga Kisselva, Russia/France
    My Conquest of Iraq
    www.kisseleva.org/iraq.htm
    9. Ollivier Dyens, Canada
    The Profane Earth
    http://etfran.concordia.ca/~odyens/profane.htm
    10. Joseph Rabie, France
    Landscopes/Ayguesvives /"Here Comes the Sun"
    www.joetopia.org/_swf/e/landscopes/ayguesvives.htm
    Landscopes/ Jerusalem, Old City/"Possession"
    www.joetopia.org/_swf/e/landscopes/jerusalem_aqsa.htm
    11. Lillian Ball, United States
    Gusher
    www.lillianball.com/Gusherstills.html
    12. Katerie Gladdys, United States
    Commuting: Ditch
    www.layoftheland.net/portfolio/start.html
    13. Annette Weintraub USA
    The Mirror That Changes
    http://www.annetteweintraub.com/mirror_content/mirrorpage.html
    14. Tiffany Holmes, United States
    Floating Point
    www.enviroart.org/HolmesColab/docs
    15. mIEKAL aND, United States
    Floraspirae
    www.joglars.org/floraspirae/inhale.html
    16. Maria Damon and mIEKAL aND, United States
    Erosion
    www.cla.umn.edu/joglars/erosion
    www.cla.umn.edu/joglars/erosive_media
    17. Agricola de Cologne
    Message from Behind a Wall
    movingpictures.agricola-de-cologne.de/volume11/wall.html
    18. Regina Célia Pinto (Brazil)
    I Want Some Red Roses for a Blue Earth
    arteonline.arq.br/ecologia/

March 18, 2006

Blown Away at "Out of the Blue"

via NEWSgrist: Blown Away at "Out of the Blue"

Looking skyward for a spark

Artworks inspired by natural phenomena are the impetus of a new show.
By Edith Newhall
For The Philadelphia Inquirer, Fri, Mar. 17, 2006

It used to be that creative people tapped into the metaphorical possibilities of strange weather. I'm thinking in particular of Martin Johnson Heade's gorgeously glowering painting, Approaching Thunderstorm, which is said to have reflected his sentiments about the impending Civil War.

Headethunderstorm_1
Martin Johnson Heade (1819–1904). Approaching Thunder Storm, 1859.
Oil on canvas; 28 x 44 in. (71.1 x 111.8 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

In these more self-absorbed days, however, human creativity itself is increasingly compared to atmospheric and geological phenomena. "Out of the Blue," a group show of 22 contemporary artists at the Abington Art Center, asks one to consider the creative process as a kind of natural phenomenon. Why not?

Artists Joy Episalla and Joy Garnett, who conceived the exhibition, and Abington Art Center director Amy Lipton, who organized it, have tested their thesis with a broad range of works. Among the most clearly atmospheric and geological-event-evoking works include Diane Burko's painting of a volcano in Iceland; Emily Brown's painting of a jet trail floating in an otherwise blue sky; Dawn DeDeaux's photograph of a tree ravaged by Hurricane Katrina; and Garnett's two paintings of volatile skies, from her aptly titled "Strange Weather" series.

Dedeaux
Dawn DeDeaux's digital photograph "Shrouded Tree #1," can be seen
in the Abington Art Center's "Out of the Blue" exhibition through May 6.

The show's more abstract works are phenomena in themselves - among them, a pile of cellophane-wrapped candies by Felix Gonzalez-Torres installed to look as if they were spilling, lavalike, out of a fireplace; a shiny blue Mylar and urethane-resin wall piece by Carrie Yamaoka that resembles both a TV screen and a view through a jet's window; and a sculpture by Fluxus artist Geoffrey Hendricks that is composed of a suspended bird cage and watercolor paintings.

Fortunately, the exhibition does not take itself too seriously. It allows for the inclusion of a knitted baby's cap by Andrea Zittel and a molded plastic Frosty the Snowman, as well as museumlike glass vitrines containing such influential ephemera inspired by natural phenomena as Richard Long's artist book, A Walk Past Standing Stones (1980); a photograph of Robert Smithson's Glue Pour, 1970 by Christos Dikeakos; and a 1969 book, Airborne Camera: The World From the Air and Outer Space, by Beaumont Newhall. Heade would have been blown away.

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. Through May 6. Information: 215-887-4882 or www.abingtonartcenter.org.

March 08, 2006

A Few Notes on Entropy: Robert Smithson's "Glue Pour" @ Abington

Smithson_dikeakos2
Photograph of  Robert Smithson's Glue Pour 1970, by Christos Dikeakos

From a portfolio of 27 selenium-toned prints.
16 x 20 inches each.
Courtesy of Christos Dikeakos
Vancouver, BC

Glue Pour copyright the Estate of Robert Smithson/VAGA (New York/SODART (Montreal) 2004. Photograph copyright Christos Dikeakos.

The exhibition I've recently co-organized, Out of the Blue at Abington Art Center, Jenkintown, PA, has on loan a rarely seen Smithson, courtesy of Vancouver artist Christos Dikeakos who was there documenting on-site with Smithson, Lucy Lippard, Dennis Wheeler and Ilya Pagonis when they poured the toxic-pink, water-soluble stuff...

Writes Dikeakos (Vancouver Art Gallery exhibition catalogue, 2004):

Like the natural processes of physical erosion, the Glue Pour was made to seep and dissipate into the edge of an urban West Coast forest; its rapid disappearance was an embrace of a state of imperfection. The location of the site is currently identified by two unintentional and ironic markers: a yellow sign that reads "Information" recalling the title of a 1970 MoMA exhibition of conceptual art, and another sign almost at the edge of the pour site. It reads "Do Not Dump Refuse." Today, the site of the Glue Pour is within the domain of an ecological and recreational area named Pacific Spirit Regional Park and the traditional territory of the Musqueam First Nation. Under present circumstances, it would be nearly impossible to restage this work. The local, urban citizens -- who idealize nature and the wilderness while neither living in or subsisting from it -- would be outraged and likely mobilize to prevent an "environmental threat" such as glue spillage. [...]

Glue Pour disappeared almost as quickly as it was realized. Today the visible trace of entropy has retreated and the north face of the site has the appearance of a typical West Coast wilderness area, a densley covered place within a stone's throw of upscale, large-lot residences. Ferns, salal and thickets of thorn-ridden blackberry bushes surround the "Do Not Dump Refuse" sign. A grove of semi-native weed trees, willow, alder and poplar are anchored and thriving on the incline of the road cut that Smithson noticed thirty-three years ago.

Text: Christos Dikeakos, "Glue Pour and the Viscosity of Fluvial Flows as Evidenced in Bottle-Gum Glue Pour Jan. 8.1070 9:30 to 11:30." Robert Smithson in Vancouver: A Fragment of a Greater Fragmentation, edited by Grant Arnold. Vancouver Art Gallery, pp. 39-56. Published in conjunction with the eponymous exhibition curated by Grant Arnold and presented at the Vancouver Art Gallery from Sept 20, 2004 - Jan 4, 2004. [Link]

March 07, 2006

The Canary Project: documenting dramatic transformations

 

New Orleans Three Months After the Hurricanes, 2005
Salt burn in a satsuma orange orchard. The ghostly white line marks the level at which salt water remained for days after the initial twenty-five foot storm surge flooded this coastal area.

The Canary Project

Susannah Sayler and Edward Morris [more info

The Canary Project's mission is to photograph landscapes throughout the world that are exhibiting dramatic transformation associated with global warming and to show these photographs to as many people as possible. By documenting the vulnerability, beauty and destructive power visible in places as disparate as melting glaciers in Iceland and bleached coral reefs in the Pacific, we hope to generate a deep emotional response in viewers and to heighten awareness that global warming is already underway and of immediate concern.

Why Canary?
We chose the title "The Canary Project" because the changing landscapes we are photographing stand as warnings of more severe changes to come, like the canaries once used by miners to warn of deadly methane levels.

Where Are We Going?
We are choosing locations that are visually dramatic and diverse. Cumulatively, the images we take from these locations will express the following about the scope and potential of global warming:

Global warming will affect the earth in a variety of ways (melting ice, sea-level rising, increased severity of storms, drought, desertification, damaged habitats). For instance, in September we shot glaciers in Austria as an occurrence of melting ice; and in November we shot the devastation in and around New Orleans as an occurrence of increased storm severity due to warming oceans.

The effects of global warming will be felt throughout the world. To this end we will be shooting the drying of Lake Chad in Africa, as well as the melting of the Greenland ice cap; we will be shooting the flooding of San Marco in Venice, as well as the drunken forests in Alaska.

Click here for a complete list of proposed locations

Our Approach
We are shooting landscapes as opposed to people and communities because human stories are all too easily exoticized and made distant. (It's so easy to say "It's them, not us.") We hope to create a perspective that allows viewers to place themselves in the landscape and feel intimately involved in its change. The images will convey the magnitude and scale of the land but not in such a way that intimidates or alienates the viewer.

Our approach draws on a tradition of North American landscape photography that dates back to frontier photographers such as Tim O'Sullivan and Carleton Watkins. This tradition took a new direction in the 70's when human impact on the landscape became central to the work of photographers such as Robert Adams and Richard Misrach, and more recently Edward Burtynsky.

MORE INFO

February 01, 2006

"Out of the Blue" in Abington


[image source]

via Artnet News (1/31/06):

"OUT OF THE BLUE" IN ABINGTON
Art globetrotters, put a new pin on your map! The Abington Art Center in Jenkintown, Pa., opens "Out of the Blue," Mar. 4-May 6, 2006, a group show about weather and the creative process conceived by artists Joy Episalla and Joy Garnett and organized by Abington Art Center curator Amy Lipton. The show features 22 artists from the U.S., Canada and England, and "focuses on the dynamics of human creativity as a metaphor for geological and atmospheric phenomena." The show includes works by Stephen Andrews, Robert Bordo, Emily Brown, Diane Burko, Dawn DeDeaux, Christos Dikeakos, John Dougill, Joy Episalla, Joy Garnett, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Erik Hanson, Geoffrey Hendricks , J.J. L'Heureux, Bill Jones, Zoe Leonard, Frank Moore, Eileen Neff, Andrea Polli , Hunter Reynolds, Austin Thomas, Bing Wright and Carrie Yamaoka, with a selection of ephemera and multiples by Colin Keefe, Richard Long, Ben Neill, Kiki Smith, Patti Smith, Robert Smithson and Andrea Zittel. For further details, see http://outoftheblueproject.org

January 26, 2006

The Difference a Degree Makes

via SFGate:

Chronicle environment writer Jane Kay and photographer Kat Wade traveled from Alaska to Mexico to see how global warming is changing life along the coast of North America.

Sunday: Polar bears signal changing ice cap in the Arctic.
Today: Subtle seaside transformation in California.
Tuesday: A family sees its way of life threatened in Mexico.

E-mail Jane Kay at jkay@sfchronicle.com

Nature out of sync

Sea life depends on the intricate workings of wind and current, driven by temperatures of ocean and air. Animals depend on the natural timing of seasons to find food. In the past 60 years, as ocean temperatures off the California coast warmed by about 3 degrees, the tiny animals at the base of the food chain declined by 70 percent.

A WARMING WORLD: THE DIFFERENCE A DEGREE MAKES
SEASHORE SEA CHANGE

- Jane Kay, Chronicle Environment Writer
Monday, January 16, 2006

 

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 [excerpt]:

Pacific Grove, Monterey County -- On the edge of the California coast, in the tide pools that tourists can see from Cannery Row, delicate anemones and sea stars are helping to tell the story of a warming world.

At low tide in the dawn light, John Pearse, a retired professor of biology at UC Santa Cruz, kneeled in the water in hip-high waders examining sunburst anemones. He found pink barnacles encrusting rocks, and the hard white shells of worm snails.

Those invertebrates normally are more common in warmer southern waters. But over decades, they have increased in numbers here. Invertebrates that do well in colder water, such as giant green sea anemones and porcelain crabs, have declined. Central California has become more like Southern California.

"Animals are responding to changes in temperature, and the change in temperature is very rapid,'' said Pearse, who began studying the low-tide zone as a graduate student nearly 50 years ago.

Unlike in the Arctic, where floating sea ice and land glaciers dramatically melt before Alaskans' eyes, along the California coast the signs of a changing environment are more subtle.

Those who know where to look can see that a few degrees increase in the temperature of the Pacific and a couple of inches rise in sea level have already changed life in Monterey Bay's fragile tide pools.

While some species will prosper, others may die. The question scientists up and down the coast are pursuing is just how the continued warming of the atmosphere and water may disrupt the ocean's intricate web of life.

In the ocean, the whales, seabirds and fish at the top of the hierarchy depend on lower organisms for food. In the last six decades, as sea water temperatures on the Monterey coast increased about 3 degrees Fahrenheit, scientists measured a 70 percent decline in zooplankton, the tiny animals at the base of the food chain.

What does it matter if a warmer world loses some inedible crabs or sea stars?

"It's hard to predict,'' said George Somero, director of the Hopkins Marine Station, the state's oldest marine laboratory, which looks down on the rocky shore here. "If you remove one species from the ecosystem, there could very well be severe perturbations in the system. In many cases, we can't predict what that means.''

[read full article

January 02, 2006

Manufactured Landscapes: The Photographs of Edward Burtynsky



Manufactured Landscapes: The Photographs of Edward Burtynsky

The Brooklyn Museum
Through January 15, 2006

from the press release:


The first major retrospective of the internationally renowned photographer Edward Burtynsky will bring together more than 60 works by the Toronto-born artist from both public and private collections.

Burtynsky, a modern-day counterpart to nineteenth-century landscape photographers, examines the intersection between land and technology, creating images of unorthodox beauty. His subjects include locations that have been changed by modern industrial activity such as mining, quarrying, rail cutting, recycling, and oil refining.

[read on...]