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November 10, 2006

The Precipice Alliance: promoting awareness about global warming through the visual arts

Artwork_site_image

via Artnet News, 11/03/06 :

GLOBAL WARMING ART IN JERSEY
The Precipice Alliance, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting awareness about global warming through the visual arts, has commissioned its first work, which opened in Jersey City, Nov. 1, 2006. The piece, by New York-based conceptual artist Mary Ellen Carroll, consists of a 900-foot-long window display in the buildings of the former American Can factory, comprised of eight-foot-tall neon letters proclaiming, "IT IS GREEN THINKS NATURE EVEN IN THE DARK." The head-scratching phrase is meant as an exercise in "indestructible language," focusing on the fluid, open-ended nature of words (strange, for a project with a clear social message!), and is sure to cause some confusion along the Pulaski Skyway, the New Jersey Turnpike, and in planes flying into or out of Newark airport.

Though using illuminated letters to get the word out, the organization hastens to note that the art piece is "carbon neutral," employing low-wattage transformers and lead-free glass tubing, as well as using solar panels to offset the energy consumed.

An event will take place at the site Nov. 13, 2006, to celebrate the debut of the work, featuring songstress Joan Osborne and a lecture by New York Times environmental reporter Andrew C. Revkin. For info, check out http://precipice-alliance.org.

The Precipice Alliance was co-founded by Joel Sternfeld and Donna Wingate; Robert Hammond is on the Board of Directors.

From their Mission Statement:

The mission of the Precipice Alliance is to increase awareness of the global effects of climate change. To do so, the Alliance will fund high-profile, innovative public artworks that address this urgent matter, while simultaneously functioning as an educational and informational forum.

Visibility is key to positive action on this issue. Artists can give form to the intangible and deliver a powerful message about the need to meet the critical challenges of global warming.

Commissioning projects that specifically address climate change will direct public attention to the urgency of the issue. To this end, large-scale contemporary art will be executed in public venues, with each artwork aligned with a specific environmental initiative and related public response. These educational and action-oriented initiatives will serve to inform, to provoke thought, and to instigate profound change.

May 02, 2006

Climate Change Casino?

Martucket2

 reBlogged via NEWSgrist:
via The Boston Globe
:
Artist, deadpan, floats a proposal
Cape turbines' critic offers a Vegas spin

By Jenna Russell, Globe Staff  |  May 2, 2006

Senator Edward M. Kennedy has flexed his considerable political muscle to try to block a wind farm in Nantucket Sound. Governor Mitt Romney strongly opposes the project.

But how would they handle this? A floating theme park, described by its designer, Provincetown artist Jay Critchley, as ''a Las Vegas version of the Cape and islands," to be built on an enormous triangular platform in the midst of the wind turbines.

Some dismiss it as an extravagant -- and expensive -- joke. But Critchley isn't laughing, at least not in public. He says that by proposing the theme park he is trying to bring attention to what he believes is the lack of oversight that the proposed wind farm has received and that he is challenging regulators to give his project similar treatment.

Dreamed up by Critchley, the plans for the Martucket Eyeland Resort & Casino read like classic political satire. Attractions would include the Climate Change Casino & Sweat Lodge, the Captain Ahab Fitness Center, and an amusement park ride called Jaws, Jaws, Jaws, which Critchley describes as ''a simulated eating by a shark -- for the kids."

To be taken even remotely seriously, the 59-year-old Cape Cod artist and provocateur has to insist he has every intention of actually building the theme park. And he does insist. He even filed an application in March with the US Army Corps of Engineers, seeking a permit to move forward with construction.

According to the application, the platform would be anchored between three of the 130 turbines in Nantucket Sound that would comprise Cape Wind.

But in this game of showmanship, federal officials, who admit they were initially amused by Critchley's submission, now caution that the artist is risking serious consequences by forging ahead with his permit request. Applicants found to have knowingly made ''false, fictitious, or fraudulent statements or representations" may be fined $10,000 or imprisoned for up to five years, said Tim Dugan, a spokesman for the Corps' New England district.

''We're working at taxpayers' expense, and we don't want to waste their money," Dugan said with all deliberate earnestness.

Critchley said he is not worried about being prosecuted, though some of his friends are concerned. ''I have other things to worry about, like raising a billion and a half dollars to build the park," he said with equal earnestness.

Corps officials have conducted an initial review of Critchley's application and have asked him for more information. If he does not reply, a spokesman said, his file will be closed. If he moves the process forward, the Department of Justice could be called in to decide if he applied in good faith.

The fate of the Cape Wind farm, while farther along in the planning stage, is still uncertain.

Kennedy supported an effort by Senator Ted Stevens, Republican of Alaska, to block the development by inserting a provision in a sure-to-pass bill funding the Coast Guard that would give the governor of Massachusetts the ability to veto the project. But the provision -- inserted without public debate, after being considered by only the handful of House members and senators negotiating the Coast Guard bill -- has rankled members of both parties.

A group of House members persuaded House leaders to delay a vote on the bill. In the Senate, the chairman and the ranking Democrat on the Energy Committee say they will try to block the Cape Wind provision when the bill comes to the floor.

March 13, 2006

Deborah Fisher's "Glacial Melt" @ Socrates Sculpture Park

 
Suzanne DeChillo/The New York Times

via NYTimes: Lens
The Quest
By SUZANNE DeCHILLO
Published: March 8, 2006

The working title is "Glacial Melt." It is made of dripping liquid plastic and wood.

Deborah Fisher is a 34-year-old sculptor working at Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, Queens.

Her quest:

"There has to be some way to look at climate change that isn't desperate, that doesn't waste time on blame or politics or collapse into end-of-times lists of future plagues and floods."

 

 

View multimedia slide show:

Sculpting in the City

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]

February 16, 2006

Deep North: a virtual expedition

 

Deep North: a virtual expedition...a year to the north pole
by jane d. marsching

deepnorth: a year to the north pole blog is complete and archived here for perusal--here are some ways to navigate through this year of research, information, ruminations, analogic connections, and wondering on the cultural imaginary of hte north pole and deep arctic
* click on the archived months in right column to view and read the year's entrie
* click on keywords in the right column to view groups of entries by topics
* type a word into the search field to find topics in the blog

Your comments are welcome and can be added by clicking on the comments link under each entry.

this year's blog, north2006: parallel conversations, is in development

Jane Marshing is 2006 recipient of a Creative Capital Grant

Jane Marsching (Roslindale, MA) Digital Arts
About Here and Later: Data Mining the North Pole – A series of digital images and sculptures, exploring both scientific and myth-based impressions of The North Pole, while detailing the collapse of the area due to environmental changes

February 08, 2006

The Snow Show 2006

 

(left) Jaume Plensa and Foster and Partners, ‘Where are you?’,Courtesy of Fung Collaboratives and ALBION PROJECTS
(right)Yoko Ono and Arata Isozak ‘Penal Colony’, Courtesy of Fung Collaboratives and ALBION PROJECTS

       

THE SNOW SHOW 2006
03 February - 19 March 2006.
Sestriere, Turin


via e-flux:

The Snow Show 2006, the third to be curated by Lance Fung, will be presented prior to the opening of the XX Winter Olympic Games in Turin in February 2006. The event will bring together six new collaborative examples of snow-built cutting-edge contemporary art and architecture. The teamed participants include Kiki Smith and Lebbeus Woods, Yoko Ono and Arata Isozaki, Carsten Höller and Williams & Tsien, Daniel Buren and Patrick Bouchain, Paola Pivi and Cliostraat, Jaume Plensa and Norman Foster.

Sestriere, in the Italian alps, has a unique topography that will allow the six new projects to take advantage of the varied settings, providing different levels for vantage and entrance points for each of the projects. As the event coincides with the Winter Olympics, the participants have taken into account the implications of sport and incorporated it into their design, bringing architecture and contemporary art to an international and mainstream audience of millions.

For full information on The Snow Show 2006 please have a look on the website, http://www.thesnowshow.com

 

 

From the Curatorial Statement (Lance Fung, Chief Curator of The Snow Show, ca. 2002): 

Throughout human history, shelters and constructed environments have been key manifestations of civilization. The act of making places for ritual use is the earliest form of the human need for expression. Whether natural or manufactured, shelters were transformed into architecture through purposeful use and demarking them as special (and sometimes sacred) places. As time passed, inhabitants accentuated their dwellings through various forms of marking for story-telling purposes, which later evolved into a form of narrative decoration. On every continent human ritual has spawned acts of architecture and art. As society developed, human activity diverged and specialized. For art and architecture this created a rift between fields that share common roots. The condition in the twenty-first century shows our society is becoming increasingly complex-and hence problems can no longer be easily separated and resolved through a single discipline.

The Snow Show provides a unique opportunity to reexamine the ritual spirit, through the collaboration between the worlds of art and architecture. This method of working illustrates the interconnected origin, knowledge and the character of problem solving in these adjacent fields. The Snow Show will be a first-of-a-kind exhibition of artist/architect collaboration that is realized on a significant scale, consisting of thirty structures made of natural materials. A ritual is formed between paired artists and architects that will be manifested in snow and ice. By replacing materials that are both familiar and permanent with ones that are freshly unusual and ephemeral, the curators hope to neutralize initial fixity of ideas. This partnership of artists and architects in a unique setting will encourage a freeing flow of communication that allows an overlap in their individual interests and expertise. Practitioners of both disciplines will utilize their critical approaches to determine standards of quality, and illustrate their ability to work together in creating works that are both intellectually challenging and beautiful (as are the most successful works of public art or architecture).

The pivotal power of The Snow Show is that it's a laboratory for the collaboration as a productive direction for the visual and practical arts. Since September 11th, the arts community has confronted the question: Where is the new art, and how do recent events affect the arts? The curators of The Snow Show respond with "collaboration" as an alternative to the typical (and romantically individualistic) view of the individual artist working away, isolated in his studio. "Global Art" has been championed as the "new art form", yet as a concept it often falls short to our expectations. Global Art is so "global" that art from around the world can begin to look the same. Cultural and personal distinctiveness are what should make art worthwhile. [read on...]

February 01, 2006

Julia Bryan-Wilson: Nuclear Futures

 

Performance Studies Tuesday Night Forum Series Presents:

Nuclear Futures
Julia Bryan-Wilson
Assistant Professor, Contemporary Art and Visual Culture
Rhode Island School of Design

February 14, 2006  7pm

Tisch School of the Arts
New York University
Department of Performance Studies
721 Broadway
6th Floor, Room 636

Drawing on art history, performance studies, and visual culture studies, this paper asks how monuments mediate, enable, and block different kinds of futures. "Nuclear Futures" explores the plans for a large-scale warning marker that will be constructed above the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, a nuclear waste dump currently operating near Carlsbad, New Mexico. This marker--whose design was recently finalized--is meant to caution people for the next 10,000 years about the dangers of drilling or digging on this radioactive site.  What might these plans tell us about the duration and legibility of visible signs--their persistence or erosion through time--and the persistence and dangers of the dream of a universal language? What kinds of futurity does the warning marker ask us to imagine--or forget? What might the marker tell us about the performativity and temporality of visual imagery in the nuclear age?

January 26, 2006

The Rush Creek Wilderness Trail

 

 via Brett Stalbaum (Rhizome.org):

A typology of an interpretive trail sign indexing the Rush Creek Wilderness Trail (Phase 1) was produced for the University Art Gallery "New Faculty" exhibition, 1/13/2K6 to 3/25/2K6. The Rush Creek Trail was produced by a C5 Landscape Database API "virtual hiker" and then followed on foot through the actual wilderness.

http://www.paintersflat.net/rush_creek/
http://www.paintersflat.net/rush_creek/exhibit.html

The Rush Creek Wilderness Trail

Sections:

The Rush Creek Wilderness Trail is possibly the world's first computationally derived, unofficial public wilderness trail. It traverses the backcountry of far northeastern California, extending to near the border with Nevada. It was first "discovered" by a computer algorithm called a "virtual hiker" that pre-explored the landscape by "hiking" through a virtual landscape consisting of data provided by the U.S. Geological Survey. The virtual hiker found a traversable hiking path between the trailhead and the terminus, both of which were very much arbitrarily chosen by Brett Stalbaum, the author of many virtual hiker algorithms for C5 Corporation. The results of the virtual hiker's exploration produce a tracklog (computer file) which can be uploaded to a GPS device and then followed by a real hiker through the actual landscape. There is no "trail" per se, only a rugged overland backcountry track that can be followed with the assistance of a GPS device. The trail provides beautiful views of the Great Basin desert environment, plentiful wildlife viewing opportunities, and the unique experience of comparing the wayfinding abilities of a virtual hiker to your own wayfinding skills and intuition.

Phase 1 of the trail (From the Rush Creek Wilderness Trailhead to Rush Creek Spring) was opened by Stalbaum December 27th and 28th of 2005. (See Photo Journal for more info). Phase 2 (from Rush Creek Spring to the Nevada Border), will be opened sometime during 2006.

January 21, 2006

Invisible Aesthetic: Mel Chin's Hyperaccumulators

 

excerpts via Eyeteeth

Mel Chin's "invisible aesthetic" 

In 1990, as part of a residency at the Walker Art Center, sculptor Mel Chin began a work every bit as monumental as Michelangelo's but far less visible: with USDA scientist Rufus L. Chaney, he planted hyperaccumulators, plants that can extract and store heavy metals from soil, at the Pig's Eye Landfill in St. Paul, a plot so polluted by incinerator ash that it's on the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's Permanent List of Priorities. The work, a fenced-in area reminiscent of a crop circle, was called Revival Field and consisted of a target-shaped square of land circumscribed with a circle with an X in the middle, a reference to the project's pinpoint cleanup. As Pruned quotes:

The divisions are also functional, separating different varieties of plants from each other for study. In the circular field the intersecting paths create four fields where six types of plants and two pH and two fertilizer tests can occur in each quadrant. The land area between the square and circle functions as a control plot where plants will be seeded with local grasses. The design for revival field facilitates the chemical analysis of each section.

When the project concluded in 1993, research showed that Alpine pennycress was the best at leeching heavy metals, although no plants were effective enough at cleaning up the land. But it did seem to provide an expansive definition of art. Chin said, "For a time, an intended invisible aesthetic will exist that can be measured scientifically by the quality of a revitalized earth. Eventually that aesthetic will be revealed in the return of growth to the soil.

For more on Land Art, visit the Center for Land Use Interpretation's catalogue of projects.

January 17, 2006

The Coded Utopia of Makrolab

via Rhizome.org: 

January 15th, 2006, 5:41 pm
By Brian Holmes

Makrolab is one of the more seminal and enduring projects to have developed out of the tactical media canon. Brian Holmes sets the project in the context of epochal shifts underway in the former Yugoslavia during its inception and fixes our vision firmly on the utopian horizon that this living laboratory probes.

Originally from Mute magazine - Culture and politics after the net - CULTURE AND POLITICS AFTER THE NET at January 15, 2006, 08:58, published by Marisa S. Olson

Permalink

continued: excerpts from MUTE Magazine:

Makrolab is a collaborative project that emerges from the vision of the Slovene artist Marko Peljhan. It offers some answers to these questions – singular answers. To make them useful in any general way, one would first have to approach the project in its multiple dimensions, to discover its stakes and challenges, to locate its contexts and learn to read its codes. Is it sculpture or architecture? A concept or a performance piece? A nomadic war machine, or a theater to replay history? The difficulty, when you want to perceive a project like this, is to let yourself enter the horizon of its possibilities, even while analyzing its specific features. [...]

Considerable stakes underlie this kind of project, though they are rarely formulated in any explicit way. No one can work on the recurrently traumatic structure of technological civilization without realizing how deeply its military origins reach into the fabric of our daily lives. Indeed, the American military expansionism of the Second Cold War (1980-89) is what sparked the globalization process, culminating in the events of September 11 and the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. At the very outset of the eighties, Deleuze and Guattari conceived the heteronomous model of the 'nomadic war machine' as a way to dissolve the military hierarchies of contemporary civilization. This is what Peljhan more pragmatically calls the conversion to civil technologies. But to understand how this could even be attempted, is it really enough to say that art becomes life, and artwork becomes documentation?

The language of Makrolab suggests something else: a generative matrix, close to the models of social evolution developed in Guattari's complexity theory.23 Guattari tried to understand how people can displace their embodied routines, their existential territories, by transiting through a machinic assemblage capable of producing collective enunciations. Makrolab achieves this by bringing the deterritorializing force of scientific formulas and artistic images into play on the experiential level, the level of temporary habitation. What results for the participants is not a simple 'decoding' of encrypted contents. Rather, within a device that itself encapsulates certain aspects of the Slovene artistic experience, fragmented images from a wider variety of vanguard projects can knit together into complex sensorial refrains, interrupting the normalized modulation of time imposed by the commercial and military cultures of transnational capitalism, and loosening up subjectivity for original work with the most challenging scientific and symbolic material, at variance with the dominant patterns. Each of participants then adds something to the device, to its pool of references, tools, algorithms and images – to its horizon of evolutionary code.

The end-products of the 'dataesthetic' can therefore be interpreted somewhat differently, outside the gap between raw documentation and the ineffable immanence of lived experience. For the vital activity of the researcher does not just produce data in the etymological sense, mere 'givens' excerpted from the dominant flux. Instead these maps, images, films, diaries, programs, soundscapes, texts and streaming signals are artistic and scientific gifts – offered to other sites, other devices, other possible futures. [read full article]