May 2011 Archives

Infinity Circle

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Infinity Circle: a multimedia performance

Infinity Circle

happening this monday night!!!

meeting location: regis art center: east lobby

time: 9:30pm
performance time: 9:45pm

surreal ritual, inward rhythms, soothing repetitions
community energy, meditative tessellations, dark gravities
and the hypnotic void!!!

Reflections on Speakers

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Sam Gould - Red 76
I found Sam's talk particularly inspiring and revelatory in relation to how one might approach contemporary forms of art production. His idea of "incantatory democracy" and 'the accumulated space" reveals a sustained approach to investigating a uniquely american idea of participatory democracy. His projects make material the ephemeral, but also does so in a way that has a light touch and gets at what Gail Dubrow recommended in regards to "build on anchors - lightly". Sam's explication of the methodologies he uses in producing his projects was insightful of his own work and allows for me to attempt new approaches, a partial list follows:

  • adopt a familiar framework (bar, laundrymat, meal, etc)
  • seed and re-seed the conversation
  • learn to listen
  • create a context to learn more
  • find reciprocity
  • social practice - reciprocal, not generous
  • it's not the point to be dominant in the project
  • find how to skew expectations through visuals
  • define roles of participation
  • failure = research
Frameworks addition:
  • pedagogy
  • media
  • personal networks
  • public space
  • discursivity
  • questions/questioning
  • research
  • equitable space
  • mutliple forms of seeding

Mark Schwackhammer
"inspiration is for amateurs" - Chuck Close
Mark's talk was great - i found it overall awesome because he was very prepared for our audience, knowing his subject but presenting it in a very visually forwarded way for a group of artists. His presentation was full of discrete information on particular projects but included a number of funny asides and diagrams that fleshed out further the ideas and thinking processes that went into their development. He proposed and outlined the way he looks to the iterative processes of nature as a point of departure in his own work. Knowing what we make and how we make it builds on an idea an old sculpture professor of mine gave me - "take care of your work and your work will take care of you" (Tom Ashcraft). He noted that a good way to explore working is to look for unlikely juxtapositions and opposing forces. I like that.

Blaine Brownell -
Blaine brought a great presentation on how research and development of new materials and their use in architecture can interact directly with many of the overarching global dialogues about the environment, energy, the use of space and food politics. He showed how projects small and large are finding ways to address these concerns through creative applications in architectural milieus. His presentation demonstrates how thinking within architecture has begun to open up to these larger concerns, moving from traditional materials to innovative use of new materials. Positioning these developments within these larger concerns, we can begin to also incorporate what we do when we try to create artwork within a larger global framework that engages these concerns and can contribute to moving us in new directions, to addressing concerns in material ways. I found the presentation highly informative and inspiring.

toy design class

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Sorry it has taken me so long to get this up here.

This is just a reminder that the Toy Product Design PLAYsentations are tomorrow (wednesday) night at 8pm in Rapson Room 100.
Feel free to bring family and friends.

Here is a link to a map and parking information for the venue:

Bluff Installation (bells)

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The west side neighborhood of Saint Paul is geologically divided from the rest of the city by a sandstone bluff running along the Mississippi River gorge. The Department of Public Works has recently removed two steel stairs that connected the residents to the riverfront park, public transportation, and downtown Saint Paul. The Ohio Street stairs, removed in 2010, once provided safe access to Harriet Island Park. Now, pedestrians and cyclists must navigate a double-blind road considered dangerous even for automobiles.

As a way to address the absence of the stairs, I've installed small bells in the trees along the site. They dance in the wind coming off the river, and give pedestrians about to enter this hazardous experience a short moment of consideration for the loss of this community structure.

artworks that made me pause and think

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To be honest, I'm not looking at artists for inspiration from the day I read the e-studio class description. There are many reasons besides the Pandora's box of new materials we saw during presentations, including but not limited to- 1. I have become curious about the complex interplay between the artist and the collective. 2. My recent exposure to new levels of reality challenges the singular relation between artist and inspiration. 3. The artworks that reasonably inspire me cleverly hide the process of making or battling with 'chicken or egg' kind of questions. I'm interested in knowing different approaches to the process of 'nothing-to- the concept', that's why I kept asking our guests 'what led to so and so decision' and they mostly did a good job on translating those layers.

So, I do have artworks in mind that I appreciate.
1. How Do You See the Disappeared?
By Mariam Ghani & Chitra Ganesh- mainly for their boldness and simplicity to peel off the shells of borders, globalized cultures and using technology and virtual public space as a point of exchange and to address such a heavy question.
Their goal is to is to create alternative systems for collecting stories from the immigrants whose lives as individuals are lost in the abstractions of legalities and headlines, and to develop from those stories new terms and languages through which the issues of the immigration debate can be framed. A Warm Database is the web-based phase of this project, and serves three purposes: as an annotated guide for the uninitiated to and through the mountains of documents that surround detention, deportation and immigrants' rights; as a resource for and call to action; and as the starting point of a data collection project designed to span multiple communities and languages. The Warm Database that is presented in this first version of the project is an interface for the further visualization and presentation of the data that artists will collect and translate after the project's launch.

Her other video artwork-Smile, you are in Sharajah,

Smile, you're in Sharjah (excerpt 1) from Mariam Ghani on Vimeo.

is a study of the patterns and rhythms of movement through shared spaces of the city-state of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. The video, named for Sharjah's infamous welcome sign (spelled out in flowers in a traffic circle notorious for rush-hour traffic jams), roams the neighborhoods, suburbs, exurbs, plazas, highways, alleys, and excavations that range between Sharjah's seaport and its desert fringes, with an eye to the cycles of construction and consumption that sustain this precarious and often contradictory place.

2. David Bowen- Wind drawing device

wind drawing device from david bowen on Vimeo.

this simple installation documents innocent drawings in a circular gesture powered by wind. It also relates to the idea of extending life cycle of a leaf.
This device uses three leaves to collect wind. It then produces charcoal drawings based on the amount and intensity of the wind on a given day. wind drawing device was created in Balatonfured, Hungary. It produced 60 drawings during a three week period in June and July 2006 on the Hungarian countryside.

3. Anish Kapoor- Leviathan
He is renowned for his monumental idiosyncratic sculpture forms of grandiose proportions, which leaves viewers in a state of astonishment. I personally got drawn to people's facial expressions when they are inside this structure. They seem to be transferred to a giant red nest which despite of it's scale hosts a warm feel. Leviathan, a 115 foot high sculpture which is made of PVC stretched over a giant, metal frame. The structure is so large in fact that you can walk around inside of it's four, blobby arms. He says of the sculpture that he hopes that "people will be invited to enter the artwork to immerse themselves in its color and it will be, I hope, a contemplative, poetic experience." The simplicity of Leviathan and the way the light shines on (and through) it really makes the Grand Palais (in Paris) shine. Juxtaposition of these two contrasting structures make them both stunning and beautiful. 14.jpg 13.jpg 12.jpg 11.jpg

Guest Speakers

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Tasoulla Hadjiyanni

She clearly has a fondness for humans and a fascination for cultural side of human nature. During the lecture, when we saw ethnic houses, I was strongly reminded of summer situations at my grand uncles where we all cousins would migrate to play a big family with zero privacy (for us and our parents). Tasoulla prepared us to understand and analyze what were about to see. I really respond to that approach and I think it works well when an issue has multiple cultural, ethnic and economic layers. It then become easier to change and merge spheres within Minnesota's diversity. Tasoulla primarily asked us to concentrate on the issues of privacy within one's home, how to create personal space that speaks closely to the native environments. Finding what is missing and making it available sounds like activism in urban spaces, which then comes with a danger of making list of 'missing' and replacing it with 'solutions'. However, it certainly leads towards awareness of 'lack of home' within a home and it is extremely important at current stage of diversity in MN. The participants in her project imagined privacy whenever they needed, imagination can block noises during siblings play time or bring light to the room in darkness. The strength of imagination overrides physical needs yet physical demands of having a dining table overrides comfort in living spaces. I have began to feel that any practical solutions to small space issue has to have a layer of imagination or a very personal (almost a nostalgic connection) to make it successful.

Jack Becker

When young artists talk or think about art they think of big changes, challenge to change the society etc. And then there is Jack Becker finding spaces for public art within the jungle of rules and the new improved communality actually works. Jack helped me to understand the proximity and scale of opportunity for public art in Minnesota. I had many questions for him and I came home with much greater knowledge than mere answers. How to draft grant application was an important part of that conversation. It will sure help us all in the world outside campus. Jack put light on the business side of public art- how an opportunity is created and how the facilitation during the artist-sponsor communication becomes an opportunity itself to nourish experimenting nature in public art. I want to take advantage of Forecast's expansive library if access becomes available. Probably post-finals is a good time to request him about that.

Michael Sommers

His participatory demonstrations made me rethink about physicality of everything around us. Since I'm going away from digital zone and working more with physical objects in past 3 months, his strategy to study materials put me in a direction to narrow down investigation and look at material itself to inform a work. Materials are filled unexpected qualities and personalities. His approach reconnected me with my childhood fascination of molding weird materials to create mini-sculptures. Now I can definitely transform my collection of egg cartons, wood and newspaper scrap.

blog checklist

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... much appreciation to you for an interesting semester and for your feedback reagrding the next iteration of this seminar.

As you complete your blog posts for the semester, use this checklist to confirm that you have included everything. Contact me with any questions. Blog posts are due 11:50 pm Sunday May 15th.

HIGH AND DRY - Jonathan Kaiser

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When I started thinking about our assignment to interact with a public street corner, there were several urban locations that I thought of right away. However, that kind of street intervention is an activity that I'll have plenty of time for in my life, and I kept coming back to thinking of ways to take advantage of my (soon to end for now) connection to the University of Minnesota. As a grad student, I haven't always taken advantage of the access to facilities and credibility that comes with my position. Time was running out. So, I decided to use my institutional access to interact with a space that normally wouldn't be available to me - a row of square windows on a contemporary building - in this case, the second story of the Regis East building of the Art Department.

Twelve windows of equal size, neatly lined up.

I was thinking about how pedestrian passersby experience this building. And, since my studio is one of the windows in question, I was thinking about how I gaze down on walkers, bikers, and cars below, hidden behind the tint of my square panel. Can I send a message to let them know that there's someone up here?

I liked the idea of humanizing the metric regularity of the building's windows, but also using them in a way that took advantage of their repetition. They're like digital blanks. I chose three phrases that related to the spatial relationship between indoors and outdoors. In one way or another, they address the condition of "We're up here, you're down there." They're all straightforward and immediate, but all three phrases also have a certain ambiguity. Are they also addressing the power dynamics at this institution or architectural location ? Personal narratives?

The three phrases are:

Usually big phrases of public text are there to impel the viewer to some action. Buy this. Vote for that. Be indignant about the other. Part of my goal for this project was to use text more as a message in a bottle. A personal communication between "up here" and "down there." Ultimately, "HIGH AND DRY" was my favorite of the three, and I felt like it would dilute the project to switch the text periodically as I'd originally planned.

The letters are all hand-cut from vinyl. The look of uneven human touch was important to me, since this piece is playing with the idea of inhabitation and presence in the built environment.


HIGH AND DRY - Final Realization of project.
[click the photo to see a larger version.]



HERE AND NOW - Early Photoshop mockup of project
[click image to view larger version]

When I took this project on, a major part of the process was contacting the faculty members who have their offices in this part of the building - to get permission to enter their offices and paste giant letters inside their windows. Luckily, I was attempting this in a college art department, and everyone was extremely supportive (if sometimes hard to get ahold of.) I sent them all an email with a full description and this photoshop mockup of the piece.

Influential Artist Robert Smithson

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Trying to keep up with the checklist--- (Corner Project update/projection coming soon)

I can't remember all that I said in class about my most influential artist, but I have been fond of Robert Smithson and his "Spiral Jetty" done in 1970. This work was in Utah done in the Great Salt Lake out of earth's raw materials. This particular work falls within the category of Earth Art which has always been an inspiring genre to me. Born in 1938 in Passaic, New Jersey, Smithson was a multi-disciplined artist having done everything from conceptual drawings, to painting, to installation, single artwork, collaborations, and ephemeral art. I appreciate his fluidity between mediums and working habits, and how he has conquered many aspects of art. My goal is to be somewhat like him in being able to work within many different mediums of art. He was also a scholar having written manifestos on art and its place within life, to understand how much he did about his craft is to have lived a decent life as an artist. He died in 1973, but his work lives on.

Season Repair: Corner Project

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Untitled.jpgUntitled 2.jpg
The corner of neighboring church's backyard (also a community garden) and the house I live in is alive and occupied by conversations during nicer weather. It is a melting pot for participating community and garden loving families of the area to stop on their way and check in. Being an informal group there is no schedule or committee, instead it becomes a venue for weekly exchange of help, tips and food (mostly Indian snacks and garden fruits). No one really knows when it all began but it became a routine when Claire, a master gardener moved to Longfellow 17 years ago and asked the church to convert the backyard into public space to grow vegetables. This corner intersects a foot traffic path connecting 37th and 38th ave homes so it was another reason to be a center spot. Most meetings are standing forums stretched through evening until it is dark and most participants are 40-55 yrs of age. This is not a diverse group and there are no typical cultural dimensions to it.

Gail's suggestion to consider possibilities of creating infrastructure to support these activities is on my mind. In addition, I might consider the manner of exchange and markers in its collective history.

Season Repair (continued as final corner project )

I interested in ways of reusing ignored objects and knowledge. While in class we learned about researches, experiments and new breed of materials extending known material's cycle by turning it into unexpected as creative solutions for constructions. For my rework on corner project, I took a low tech route inspired by neomaterials idea but closely tied to 'reusing'.

Since this venue challenged my perception of street and neighborhood, it is a good place to challenge our practices and perceptions of private and public spaces. So I placed a bench made of found wood in the ally. It's template was borrowed from the previous owner of my house. A box was placed on it (made of found cardboard and wrapping paper during an ally walk) that was filled with season repair tools to take away. (I am planning to make another bench as part of new infrastructure and waterproof both benches since the rain is harming this old wood)

These tools are a collection of activity ideas, recipes, games and photo postcards that will help recharge the urge of connecting with family and others. Here, I am partly dealing with the problem of existing lack of connection in a city, and partly conveying ideas about reconstruction, or about reclaiming and democratizing our process of transition to warmer environment. Participation would lead to a personal dialogue and the tools will manipulate the process of engagement within privet and public circles and ultimately the season's assembly. Situated within the comfort next to the sense of fragility, participant is reminded and exposed to simple solutions to urgent problems.

Example of game: Kabaddi
A line is drawn on sand or on soft earth. The two opposing teams, five to ten or more, stand on either side of this line.

A member of one team crosses the line into the opposing camp, chanting the magic word 'Kabaddi, Kabaddi, Kabaddi', without breathing. If he is able to touch one or two boys while still uttering the word 'Kabaddi', the person touched is 'dead' and the visitor runs back to his side.

Then another member from his team goes out. But it may happen that the visitor is caught on the opposite side by the fellow who is touched, or by someone else from the opposing team. Then he is said to have 'died'.

Now a member from the other side goes out to visit the first team. A team has to 'kill' all the members of the opposing team to win the game.
I also included prints of Open Fiend Calendar and its details from website

Example fun recipe:
2 cups chopped pitted peeled mango
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
2/3 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh Tabasco chipotle sause

mix it, season with salt & pepper, share with all to dig in with pita/chips/tortilla.

Onion Pakora :
Goes well at dinner time with Italian dishes or Mexican cuisine.
1 cup chickpea flour
2 small Onions, thinly sliced
2-3 tsp Red Chilli Powder
½ tsp Turmeric (optional/find at cub foods)
2 tsp Ova (Ajwain seeds) (optional/find at cub foods)
¼ tsp Baking Soda (optional if you are watching calories from oil)
Salt to taste
Oil for frying

How to proceed:

1) Mix all the ingredients except oil and sliced Onions
2) Add enough water to make consistency of pancake batter
3) Heat oil in a pan
4) Add sliced onion to this batter in batches (don't add all at once else onions will leave some water and the batter will become free flowing!)
5) Make wicked balls such that onion slices are coated with the batter and there seem equal amount of batter and onion
6) Deep fry in oil and drain excess oil using paper tissues
7) Serve hot with tomato sauce or with a hot cup of tea on a rainy day when trapped indoors!! :)

Partial Infinity Room - Jonathan Kaiser

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As part of my show, A Game of Troy, I made a piece called Partial Infinity Room. It's an octagonal structure that resembles a kiosk - an outdoor bulletin board for public announcements in the form of bills, fliers, notices. For most functional kiosks, the structure itself is essentially meant to be invisible - a neutral territory for the information posted on its surface. It's a space of endless possibility and constant change, a reflection of the current concerns of the surrounding community. It's a layered window into many priorities and points of view. However, compared to the ephemera that coat its surface, a kiosk has such weight, permanence, physicality. There's always an interesting tension with a kiosk - although its surface is basically an anarchic space, the structure itself is usually constructed, owned, and provisionally made available by an organized entity like a business, institution, or government body. Also, although that outer surface is up for grabs, there's usually a hidden inner space, a negative space that is the necessary byproduct of the intended three-dimensional walk-around experience.


I'm interested in kiosks not just for their function, but because they look bizarre. Many of them have elements that make them look like miniature houses or castle turrets. So there are these miniature houses everywhere. Owned by the city, the university, the co-op, the park service... Papered over by rock bands, local businesses, cults, pyramid schemes, activists... Occupied by nothing. Little empty houses. Does anyone live there? Does anyone look inside?


Partial Infinity Room is a kiosk, stripped of its exterior fliers. Its interior, partially visible through cracks in the walls, contains a simple platform, an origami form, and mirrors. Its octagonal mirrored interior is inspired by a design for an infinity room sketched by Leonardo Da Vinci. "A man standing inside it can see himself infinitely from all sides," he wrote. Da Vinci never built the structure because mirrors couldn't be made large enough in his day. Partial Infinity Room is also a frustrated attempt at infinite self-regard - it uses scraps of salvaged mirror that can't possibly cover its whole interior or give the external viewer a complete picture of the interior space.


I can't mention old school kiosks without mentioning the new kiosk of the social network -- bulletins, events, and tweets. Both practices coexist, but the physical practice of flyer-ing seems clunky and almost tragically finite compared to the infinite viral reproducibility of the digital bulletin. Floods of communication and promotion from amateur and professional alike, all taking place on the trying-to-be-invisible (yet also vying for brand recognition) surfaces of Facebook, Twitter, or thousands of other websites one might care to name, all of which own the metaphorical real estate upon which the communication takes place and make profits in proportion to the sheer volume of communication that they facilitate. There's no easy interior/exterior analogy to make between the digital network and the analog kiosk - if anything, by reducing these public bulletins to pure ephemerality, the digital format eliminates the possibility for a mysterious 'interior space' that I see in the kiosk and even the array of objects that can be fastened to its surface.

Partial Infinity Room didn't have a life as a functioning kiosk before I installed it in the gallery, but I'm interested in giving it one afterwards. It might get torn apart, or it might turn into a popular community bulletin board - I'm curious to see what happens. I've been thinking of places where there's lots of pedestrian traffic but where a kiosk seems unlikely or out of place. On the other hand, I've also been considering places where there's little to no pedestrian traffic - where a kiosk would be so incongruous that it might invite exploration of a difficult terrain (or at least some raised eyebrows.)

One place that fits more in the first category is a corner that I bike past almost every day; the northwest corner of 26th and Hiawatha. It's a bit of a unique area; Hiawatha is an urban highway, but it has a fairly well-travelled sidewalk on the west side, between the clinic at 28th street and the pedestrian bridge near 24th. At 26th there's a giant vacant lot where pedestrian traffic has worn a perfect diagonal line of dirt across the patchy grass. I think this will be the first site I'll try.

Picture 2.png

Planting in the Park~by Krista S.

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My intention for the final corner project is to bring the Fireside Park community together by adding a splash of color in the form of plants and sand. I have been gun-shy, because I was worried people will take my work down again, but that was only a temporary set back so I tried again.

I started my earth art endeavor by planting a few tulips on May 11th by the entrance sign that marks the park as a public space. Hopefully my tulips will make the scene a little more special and inviting for guests and others. They have stayed up thus far, so maybe people have come to like them.

Starting Point.jpg

The planting that I did on Wednesday sparked the idea for the community to get involved, so I started making plans.

I have made posters to put up around my neighborhood which emphasize the event that I will direct, and I'll put them up on the day. Hopefully people will show up. I'll supply everyone that does show up with a cheap flower. Most likely I'll use tulips for our day of planting, because they are perennials, low maintenance, and vary in color. I also had the idea to use some colored sand that I had used in my performance at Open Eye and start an image in the sand for the kids to add on to.

Here's some of the other colors of tulips that will go in the park.
Tulips XX.jpg

This is the poster I'll hang around my neighborhood, I've debated whether to put my # on it or not, but I've decided to remain anonymous. My thinking behind my choice was, if they are curious, then they'll just have to come to the park.

Here's the idea for the sand images that I will start before people arrive...
Painting in the Sand.jpg

And finally, here is a picture of the idea that I have--the perimeter of the park filled with some type of perennial flower.
251st and Elk Trail.jpg

I've combined my own interest in community involvement by showcasing an event outside of where I usually hold events at my work, (Michaels Arts and Crafts in Blaine). "Planting in the Park" will hopefully set a side some time for families and neighbors to hang out and enjoy nature. My intention of bordering the park with flowers. was to add to the backyard-garden-feel of spring and summer. This park should show that it is cared for and appreciated by the surrounding community, and the beauty of the flowers makes it a happier place to spend time. Adding a community type of garden will spark communication and possibly inspire others to plant shrubbery or trees that they want to see. Bringing people together through nature is my main cause, but the betterment of the park is definitely a plus.

~Krista Schuhwerck

Center of the World

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Directional lines again: two unbounded lines make a point, a compass rose. Drawn, a compass rose represents freedom and possibility: in old maps it was as much a standard as a point of reference, suggesting the whole world was accessible and hence conquerable. On the ground it indicates an axis mundi, the navel and center of the world and the origin of the cardinal directions. An axis mundi is pointed out by a pole or tower which can become politically charged when inscribed with cultural laws or values. The point and spot itself become important because, so the belief goes, the sky and the earth connect and meet there and all sorts of communication becomes opened up between them.
I wanted to set up my lines near or on a pole, and I wanted to exploit a pole that was missing its inscribed laws or values. I didn't want the spiritual communication to be burdened by ads or parking signs, but I did want the pole itself to have been erected by an authority. It's vandalism, but I'd like to think it's mostly intervention. I found a street pole without a sign on University Ave near LeSalle. I wrapped the pole in reflective packing tape and made four directional lines just off to the side of the pole. Set up communication between the sky and the ground, disconnected and joining. The pendents were free to travel. As the pendents move, whether by friction, rain, or people, they will migrate from their point of origin, disrupting and narrowing the unbounded freedom they represent. I inscribed each them with the same phrase as my last piece, "St. Christopher Protect Us," a sort of running joke about the limitations (and supposed danger) of travel in the city by those that can actually discern the writing. I chose to set my project up at a corner liquor store. From a car the pole and the reflectors become just a shiny attraction at night, but to some people (I know a few) a liquor store really could be the center of the world. Making my axis mundi self-corroding and migratory was about confusing and disrupting communication, which at a liquor store becomes sort of interesting.
As a final project, I feel that the ideas I was working through earlier were able to finally coalesce. I was following my instinct before, but I've really begun to see what I'm trying to say, where I need to say it, and the visual language and materials that bring some of those ideas across.

Artist Inspiration: Benjamin Edwards

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When I first saw Benjamin Edwards' large painting up at the Walker (I was a freshman then) I felt at some level that here was an artist that really got it. I still believe he captured better than anyone else what it means to live in an American cities or suburb today. His focus is on capitalism, which often translates to a bombardment of information. It's about decoding and making sense of an unprecedented visual, often virtual, landscape. Everything is accessible in his pictures, to the point of being painful.
What I frequently take from his work is the role of the lingering symbol. There are isolated moments in his work where a symbol floats in the sky, separate from the rest of the world it belongs to. I find that kind of moment to be a powerful metaphor for individualism in the 21st century, for the power and powerlessness of the investor and consumer.
The great thing about Benjamin Edwards, something I spoke about in class, is that images of his work are totally accessible online, from all the way back into the 90's. Where other artists will edit their work to retain the illusion of freshness, Edwards embraces his past and the information age that allows his work to reach the public at all.we.jpg

Artist Inspiration: Rafael Lozano-Hemmer

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Rafael Lozano-Hemmer

As a public artist, Lozano-Hemmer utilizes the ephemeral experiences of light, sound, and movement to express unseen phenomena on a city scale. I find this work inspirational as a designer of the built environment, as it uses existing technologies to bridge the divide between public art and public urban spaces.


Pulse Park


Vectoral Elevation


Body Movies

Atrium Reflections -Swings

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(aka Devices for the Aerial Investigation of Public Space)

The installation of four round swing-like objects in the atrium of Regis East gave the building's occupants a different way to explore and understand space that they use everyday. Though they were never directly described as toys to be utilized by the public, their use became an exercise in amusement, performance, distraction, and disruption.

Bluff Installation (proposed)

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Green Stairs (former/deceased)


Green Stairs (future/delayed)


Green Stairs (Missing)

The Green Stairs were once an icon of the west side, but were structurally compromised during a rock slide in April of 2008 and removed shortly thereafter. A massive community effort resulted in a new stair design which was aesthetically progressive, fully-funded, and fastracked for completion before being permanently tabled due to lower-level bureaucratic decisionmakers. Unless a legislative champion steps forward, the blufftop neighborhood will forever be disconnected with the river, public transportation, and the central business district. The green stairs were historically used for exercise, as an evening destination with a view of downtown, and for daredevil antics by teenagers.

As a way of acknowledging the missing structure and the collective consequences of its loss, I propose a nighttime projection on the abutment where the stair tower once stood, and where its replacement is now missing. A random series of colored shapes is based on the design elements of the new stair project caught in red tape, and is projected in a quick progression. My intention is to capture both the permanent memories and the fleeting reality of the monuments in our immediate environs

Commensal Touch Transmitter- Independent Project

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In this installation, I wanted to continue investigating the use of recognizable frameworks to invite interaction, this time accessing a behavior I observed during the Hi5 project. The Commensal Touch Transmitter, CTT will invite people to touch a corner of a sign posted on a walking path, and transmit the touch down the path to the next sign. The device will have a commensally symbiotic relationship, in that unlike a parasitic one, the device benefits from the structure of the sign, but is non-destuctive to the (host) sign.

In the discussion last class, Jonathon had some great points about inviting people to participate, and over the course of the CTT being up I would like to try some different ideas for the patch over the piezo element. First I had thought of a silhouette of fingers on the corner of the sign, but maybe a comic style "slap" would clue people in to what is happening. Further, there could be different textures to invite touch. I don't intend to record the number of accesses in this case, so I will be observing, and participating, as the walking path is a block from my house.

To accomplish this, I am using a Piezo Element to sense vibration from the touch, some children's walkie talkie's hacked apart as described in Low Tech Sensors and Actuators and a bunch of 10mm LED's and Lithium watch batteries to power them.

Here are some sketches and screen captures and images from where I am in the process:


So where am I and what do I have left to do.

  • The piezo elements are en-route, and should be here this week.

  • I have gotten 10mmLED's from Axman, as well as a power source

  • I have the files ready to laser cut some acrylic for the light bracket/housing, I should be able to do that Monday or Tuesday.

  • I am hacking apart the walkie talkies today and have relay's to go between the piezo element and the walkie talkie wiring. (according to the Low tech sensors... pdf.

  • and that's it!

I think that's all that's left to do and they'll be up!

Constant Heat Roller Sealer

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Constant Heat Roller Sealer

this new addition to e-studio technology will be the key technology for BFA group to create inflatables inspired by lava lamps for Northern Spark Festival on June 4, 2011.

this roller Seals Polyethylene bags or cellophane by moving the 2 1/4" diameter PTFE coated wheel along the material to be sealed. Makes seals in any configuration round, oval, or square. Temperature range from 80 - 420° F. Seal width is 5 mm. Material thickness 6 mil. 115 volt, 70 watts. Comes with stand.

ephemeral vision border

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For my independent project I wanted to explore ephemeral art in public spaces. My initial idea was to follow another project I'm working on related to unemployment and create an installation. However, the material I had was not enough to make justice to the project and reducing it's scale would have established a weaker relation with the outdoor public space. Meanwhile, I visited Spectacular of the Vernacular(a show at Walker Art Center) 3 times in one week. I began to think about vernaculars from new generation's point of view and how we actually look at our vernaculars. Mainly about how can I bring aesthetics from digital world into real structural world? A parallel thought was inspired by Chris Larson's Unnamed - wooden bridge artwork in that show. It was made of hundreds of wooden sheets so I wondered, what can a single piece of wood do in a carefully constructed city?

Many of us look at the world through lens these days. We experience magical movements on cellphone screens while recording. We prefer to watch the viewfinder on a camcorder rather than seeing it directly with eyes, even when we are physically present at an event. The screen and camera's focusing rectangle have come so close to us, I decided to give it a life. Here I had another opportunity to create direct, physical interaction between two sides of this square phenomena.

I created two pieces of brackets using a single plank of wood, some wood glue and few iron screws. I kept it 6' tall with two 2' extensions on sides so that it would fit into my vehicle. Idea was to install these viewfinders at places where people can walk around and through it. The vision border would stay there only for one to two hours and then it could be found at a different place for another couple of hours. First installation was on Friday May 13, 2011 outside Carlson School of Management followed by one hour installation at 21st ave & riverside. It was a good test and I found many flaws in the design. The installation fell onto the ground many times, whenever wind was slightly stronger. First, I couldn't think of a better choice than adding triangular support to the bottom which would have destroyed it's visual appearance. Then I tried to make another brand new set with just one screw at each joint. It created a somewhat weak structure but I could then twist the extensions a little bit to make sure it stands straight on any type of surface. I also added some cushion around the screws making it kind of flexible but giving better resistance against wind. Just like a tree and branches, the vertical panel can shake but does not collapse that easily.
I decided to take risk and installed the visual border near west river parkway which normally sees a good amount of joggers, walkers and dogs. Since the path is narrower risk was higher if it falls on someone. I was quite sure about the safety, still I watched it from a distance without camera so no one could relate the piece with me. I changed locations throughout Sunday afternoon and noticed couple of walkers encountering the vision border twice. They stopped, turned around and looked through it and kept walking.

Being wood, the installation echoed with the surrounding trees. I thought the height and size was pretty friendly for a human height. It did not fall and did not feel like a door or some sort of check point. The interaction was natural and easy. Yet, it defined being on one or the other side, narrowed down vision to fit within the border and immediately expanded the vision drastically as one crossed it.

From my personal observation, new symbols, new cultures and new imagery (just like new people) when enter into our lives one at a time, it is so much easier and natural for us to remain comfortable. At the same time, the new element looses it's original identity and becomes a fusion of two worlds. I wonder if this is exactly how cultures transform?

Regis Hammock Project Overview

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The hammock project concept was created by Jonathon Kaiser, and was originally meant to be a network of hammocks roughly in a circle encouraging conversation. One of the first things I did as part of the group was to suggest how the idea might work off paper in the Regis space. As a counter proposition I suggested the windows might be filled with the hammocks, as a way to make do with the limitations of space. Limitations in materials, however, and dedication to the original circular arrangement led to a design with one hammock in a window with other hammocks grouped around it. The rest of my participation revolved around troubleshooting materials, costs and hanging strategies, all of which was discussed as a team. We figured out early on that rope could be purchased inexpensively. I purchased 50 ft of 120lb strength rope for $10, which was later replaced by a better rope with 300lb strength purchased for roughly the same amount. Attaching the hammocks was originally a problem, but luckily other team members were able to find a site explaining hammock attachment to trees. We figured out together how we could use those same strategies and fit the ropes onto the support beams in East Regis. In the end, limitations of fabric became the primary concern. We secured a good deal of material from Banner Creations, but could not get enough to fully complete any proposed plan. The four or so hammocks we already had in place were deemed good enough, and, after we placed a sign up, we decided the project was finished.

Family Tree

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In the end, I hung my handkerchiefs in a tree on my corner. As I was putting them up, a passerby asked what the project was. I explained that I made handkerchiefs for people I knew who had passed away with the deceased persons initials on them. As most of them were family members, the person offered the idea that it was somewhat of a family tree.

There were certain aspects of this project that I was very comfortable with. I enjoyed working with the materials and sewing, however, I was very uncomfortable bring the pieces out in the public and having people see me put it up. Putting so much time and investing energy in something made it really nerve-racking to see how the public would react. However, it was very rewarding. People generally seemed curious and interested. People were asking how long they would be up; others' were asking why.

I also wanted to mention that the making of the actual handkerchiefs was an important experience. It gave me time to think about these people. I thought about what the person would have liked their handkerchief to look like. The handkerchiefs developed a bit of personality especially when they were hanging in the tree.

I am excited to see what kind of life they will have in the public.

Thank you!

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Independent Project (Elisa)

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Marina Ambromovic has said that in her work she does things simply because they scare her. With a similar motivation, I have installed an inflatable plastic form in a public space on campus. For my independent project I proposed to actualize this inflatable project, as an exercise in doing something in public that makes me feel exposed and uncomfortable.
I gained quite a bit of knowledge from this experiment. I spent several days in the estudio with an iron and lots of plastic, trying to create an airtight inflatable. Due to lack of skill, and unyielding plastic as well as an insufficient bonding method, after many hours, I had still not accomplished my task. I had, however, created some colors and forms out of plastic that I actually liked. So, I finally ventured outside to see what I could do with those forms. I did not believe that there was any way for them to inflate, but once I had arrived with my plastic to an air-producing vent I have been eying all semester, possibilities began to emerge. Engaging with the actual mix of air, plastic and space, I found that it was actually possible to inflate the plastic, and that it didn't need to be airtight. Now that I have this information, I'm excited to try other forms in the future.
I also spent some time in letting the plastic interact with the wind. Photo documentation is included of that as well.



Final Corner

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My final Corner Installation included an experiment with paper, inspired by Michael Sommers.

An Artist of Influence (Elisa)

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Three artists are in my mind as I work on the corner project. Tomory Dodge's painting simulates two consecutive (mirrored) frames of a moving picture. The shapes appear to be falling in an ambiguous space.

Tim Hyde constructs surreal spaces by cutting apart and putting back together photographs of materials and planes in space.

Andy Goldsworthy uses found phenomena in a given locale to intervene in the landscape to alter its formal aesthetic.


Tim Hyde.jpg


Ephemeral Transformation Reflection (Elisa)

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Using the expansive space in the Regis Lobby to experiment with large installations has provided a lot of information that has proven already to inform my studio practice in helpful ways. Exploding with material in that space, first on my own and now with the Ephemeral Transformation Project has helped me better understand the materiality of fabric, the role of different colors in relation to one another, and the relationship between material, color, space and architecture.

Our group enjoyed discussing various ideas, brainstorming and researching possible sources of inspiration. The material that became available for our project ultimately determined the actual manifestation of our project. This is very interesting. Form determines content. Material comes prior to the meaning that is then produced through the manipulation of material. The material will necessarily inform that meaning.

The piece eventually became a party that was over before it started, representing its own failure to become or achieve anything. The idea that the event of which this party is a result never actually occurred makes the actual event of the art itself a trace of an immemorial past. Nothing every happened, and now all we have is the record of the non-event.

Concept Project Proposal (Elisa)

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I intend to continue working on some of the things I began in this class. On the one hand, am interested in bringing some of the elements of my outdoor installations back indoors. The plastic and the colored paper will become formal elements in installations that for me reside somewhere between painting and sculpture. I will keep producing similar forms, and in the spirit of biomimetics I plan to research different biological forms of organic growth to use as the maps for the construction of my own formal compositions.

On the other hand, I will continue my interest in the disruption of landscapes by way of planes of color and form. These disrupted landscapes will continue to end up as photographs. I am interested in the way that a shape can create a flat plane that abstracts the landscape, making one plane intersect with another.


Nicola- Picnic!!

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I have been inspired by this class to host a picnic in this "park" called svea triangle. The park really is not very usable, but it can be seen by many cars. The action will both be fun for the people who attend the picnic and also will be a spectacle for the people watching from their cars. I am imagining that everyone will be dressed very colorful or will be dressed in one single color.

The weather hasn't really been cooperating to host this yet, but there is plenty of summer ahead!


Massimo Vitali Pic Nic Alle 2000.JPG

!!!Collective Community Celebration in the Clouds!!!

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this was in the 1960s.....

what could happen in the 2060's?!?!?!



!!!Collective Community Celebration in the Clouds!!!

///!World Social+Musical+Dance Interactive Festival!///

You and everyone on the planet are invited!

when: August 15 to August 18, 2069!

where: the sky!

what: a three-day coming together of all humans!

During the festival, each person will uniquely contribute to the experience! Each person's unique mind and unique body will contribute to the light and sound of the collective world community composition! The clouds and wind will transmit both the generated sound and light!

In order to encourage diversity and adventure, participants will be empowered with the ability to teleport to any location in the sky throughout the festival! Although people will be unable to talk during the festival, all will be able to express themselves with their thoughts and their bodies!

This festival will inspire creativity, equality, peace, communication, and play in this contemporary age! The collectively created light and sound will heal and transform all!

Inspired by Luke Fischbeck

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Luke Fischbeck:


2003-2005 Brown University MA Music (program in Multimedia and Electronic Music Experiments)

1996-2000 Harvard University BA, Visual and Environmental Studies

Lucky Dragons:

Make a baby

Sumi Ink Club

Elysian Park Museum of Art

A Ray Array

-electronic music theory

Final Project continuation

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Viking Bar as Catalyst and Cultural Institution

My research is concerned with the reanimation or symbolic revivification of the Viking Bar, a bluesy dive bar that closed in 2006. This is a long-term project that will manifest as several on-site actions, a poster campaign, a website with a streaming radio station and a musical performance involving musicians that formally performed inside the bar. These activities will take place over the course of the summer and fall of 2011 while conducting in depth research. Topics of research will include personal history of owners, the development of the site and construction, and the cultural history of the neighborhood, particularly it's history during transition from occupation by working class immigrants to immigrant refugees. The form I am focusing on completing at the moment is to create Viking Radio.

I am in contact with several persons that have personal experience from visiting the bar as well as those who have a vested interest in the history of the neighborhood and its current manifestation. I am arranging to record interviews with these folks to gather content for a series of audio works that will be accessible through the online streaming radio station, Viking Radio. These will also be included in an archive that I will create but also open up to allow others familiar with the project to contribute to, a kind of People's Archive.


Viking Radio is the creation of a concept radio station that uses the performances and recordings from those musicians that used to perform there to populate several iterations. Many of these performances can be gleaned from YouTube videos taken prior to the time the bar closed it's doors. These iterations will be broadcasts that proceed from intimate to very public. Iteration one is to create a playlist of songs that can be downloaded by anyone to a mobile digital music player that will be listened to on headphones while standing just outside the door and imagining the time when the music blared into the street from those same doors. This is intended as an intimate reimagining and re-experiencing of a past moment in time.
The second iteration, already realized, is a shop dolly mounted with stereo equipment that broadcasts from outside the doors of the Viking to everyone within earshot of the sound, blasting from the powered speakers. This is a lo-fi, hyper-local radio of sorts. The third iteration will be to mount this same equipment onto a tricycle in order broadcast this same collection of music while biking in ever increasing concentric circles around the streets adjacent to the bar.
The final iteration will consist of a low-power radio transmitter that hijacks a popular local FM band and broadcasts the music into the passing cars in the intersection in front of the Viking. This transgressive action forces the accidental listeners into an active role, changing them from passive onlookers of the degrading façade of the bar and transporting them back in time and into the role of a mobile audience.
Viking Radio will be accompanied by a poster campaign that co-opts the logotype of the Viking Bar signage to be turned into posters that announce the presence of Viking Radio. I will also create posters that mimic the standard music show announcement posters but are entirely blank, save for the Viking Bar sign logo as the header. These posters will be posted in conspicuous locations in the surrounding neighborhood. This is a material way to engage the neighborhood public's memories of, or recognition of, the Viking Bar's history or present as a vacant sign of potential.


Willie Murphy tracks
08 Nappy Head Blues.mp3
11 People Get Ready.mp3