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November 18, 2008

The last of the presenters

These remarks may be brief but they are honest. I should have posted them when the presentations were fresh in my memory. Sorry if they don’t make sense

Lindsay- I found your presentation to be engaging and smart. You seemed comfortable talking about your influences. I enjoyed seeing the pictures of the fantastical places you visited. You mentioned that you didn’t want to show recent work because we have seen it but I would have enjoyed hearing you talk about your new work out of the critique setting.

Jasmine- One thing that you could have done to greatly improve your presentation would be not to read from a script. I find that it detracts from the energy of the talk. If you feel the need to have a script maybe shooting off of it or at least making more eye contact would help. Seeing the images of the disasters and then shots of your work was interesting. I enjoyed seeing and hearing about the relationship between these things and your sculpture. Also, your figure sculptures you made in under grad are awesome! Thick with emotion. I think you should make some more.

Chad- From your talk I can see a clear relationship between your design background and your studio practice. I enjoyed seeing the Manifest destiny logo you created. It would be nice to see a bit more of your design work. I agree with Chris that it might have helped to show your America landscape pictures faster, as if you were driving. Maybe you could have them going as you talk about the overall idea for the project flowed by a selected group that you go into detail about.

Juana- Great time management! Some how you were able to start off talking about your childhood, you being the chosen one, and making all the way to your recent work seemingly with out anything missing or skimmed over. The energy of your presentation was high and very enjoyable. One thing that you could have gone into a bit more would be your interest in Alchemy Maybe you could have talked a bit more about that.

November 16, 2008

The story of Jumpin’ Jasmine

The longest baby in Prince George
Jasmine Wallace was born in the interior of Canada in the town of Prince George. Although I was unable to determine whether the record still stands, at the time of her birth she was the longest baby ever born in Prince George at 2 feet and 11 pounds. Since her birth and the age of 20 she has moved 30 times.

You may have noticed that Jasmine is pretty tall; in high school she was a basketball player, center forward. The announcer at school games would announce her as Jumpin' Jasmine and recite her point totals for the game.

Jasmine was also a high school dropout, something that seems to add to her cred. She finished high school while living with her Grandmother in Vancouver via a correspondence course.

Part of the reason why she moved so much while growing up was because of the conflict between her Mom and Grandmother and the rest of the family who were Jehovah's Witnesses. They would move away when the conflict was at its worst and move back during periods of reconciliation. She has lived often in both Vancouver and on Vancouver Island. While living on Vancouver Island she had an ATV or four wheeler.

Her Mother and Grandmother are both artists, described by Jasmine as folk artists, art making has always been around her growing up. Her work when she started school here was greatly influenced by the 35W bridge collapse. She now makes work about cities and structures decaying and failing, often working with the clay by firing it to the point where it begins to melt and fail. She is fascinated by the way that energy is carried through a structure.

Jasmine's likes:
Minnesota happy hour; in Canada the amount of alcohol that goes into a drink is strictly regulated, here it is the bartender's discretion (or lack thereof). She likes to eat at the many restaurants on Nicollet, such as Jasmine Deli, Peninsula and Pancho Villa to name a few.
Her favorite drink is Crown Royal which is a rye whiskey that comes in a fancy velvet bag.

November 13, 2008

Interview with Jason

On November 4th I interviewed Jason in his studio. When I waked in he had a sprawling installation set up. There were branches wrapped with various colored streamers and pipe cleaners. At the base or starting point was a pile of dirt. Jason was amidst of creating his newest work.
I asked Jason what he saw his work as. He told me that it was mixed media or rather a better term he used was a hybrid of media. He doesn’t limit himself to one or a couple of materials. He will use what ever strikes him at the moment. When he described his process in making work in relation to form versus content he had a great metaphor that sums it up. He sees it as like lighting a candle, the flame being the initial drive. As the wax melts his content begins to form. The wax (content) expands as he process goes on. This explanation leads to new projects and off shoots of the original flame. Jason’s work is collaboration with the materials and his insight. It is a push and pull experience.

November 7, 2008

Jazzmans interview of Josh

I interviewed Josh on two occassions, once at Lauras halloween party and a second time after that in his studio.I interviewed him a second time because we were worried about the sillyness of the first interview. But Josh is much more himself in the first interview and more revealing about his work so we decided to post the first interview.

Please cut and paste


Rashad B

This is my email interview with Rachad B. I sent him a series of questions, he answered and I’ve responded to his answers in( )’s to make it more of a conversation. The digital interview was a little odd but it did allow us to use information that isn’t necessarily memorized in our brains:

I know your work references where you grew up & the kind of neighborhoods you’ve lived in. You mentioned in your talk, shotgun houses, and you said things like “from frying pan to skillet.? I’d like to get more of a feel for where you came from, and what your life has been like thus far. Feel free to relate this to your work.

Has living in Minneapolis, working at the nomad, being in art school
directly affected your work. I guess I wonder how your current personal
experience figures into what you make.

What is an idea or theory or concept that you’ve been thinking about
lately, something that has been heavily on your mind most recently?

In your studio we talked about the political animal in relation to networks of bees and ants. Could you tell me a little more about this idea and how you do or intend to express this in your work.

That’s all I have. Feel free to expand on these questions, get off topic or whatever feels comfortable.


Living in a larger and culturally different city has affected my outlook on the rest of the world/humanity more than it has affected my work. It takes time for me to process that information and purposely fuse it with my work. But it definitely has some affect. My work tends to lean in a very dark and somber direction. I've experienced an upbringing in many unpleasant environments throughout most of my life and I've had interactions with very cruel people. Not much has changed with the move to Minneapolis. Interestingly enough, working at the Nomad has shown me that some of the happiest and most content people I've come across are a part of the bar scene/culture. One of the most important things I've learned as a bartender, in that specific style of bar, is the necessity to build a client base of people that can benefit from what I have to offer besides inebriation. This same client base returns to the bar, in part, because of the enjoyable atmosphere that bartenders help to create. It's an escape for me. A place that I can go and be with others who want nothing else but to escape the torments and stress that fill their lives. For these people, bars are the escape and many individuals seem very welcoming of pleasant dialogue and good times. That's an atmosphere I've only experienced, to this degree, with 8 years experience in the service industry.

(What you said about the bar scene is great, I’ve been involved in similar bar scenes. Working shitty day jobs and drinking out each night with hords of people doing the same thing. There is something to say about that way of life. It’s not all good or bad, but there is always something happening and that is important.)

A concept that I've thought about lately has been human apathy. The ability for one person to totally detach themselves from any concern outside of themselves. Without a trace of feeling, sympathy, or thought for others. The bitter cold of human consciousness. A further investigation of human apathy in relation to dialogue, confrontation, and death is something that has weighed heavily on my mind lately.

(ultimately we only care about ourselves, for the most part anyway. We talked about this in a crit class I had once in a discussion of what beauty is. One person said that when you see beauty you are not, for that moment at least, the center of the universe. What your talking about is much colder & self-centered, it makes me think of fighting vandalism, or hate. I’ve had a handful of dreams where I was being stabbed to death, And as I lay there helpless, I felt omniscent and ok and I’d would try to make a very personal and human connection with my eyes to the stabber’s eyes while he stuck me. In the dreams, I can never make the connection but I keep trying until I’m gone.)

I'm not really sure on how it will come across in my work, but I'll leave you with an excerpt from Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan. This is the source of my content.

"It is true that certain living creatures, as bees and ants, live sociably one with another (which are therefore by Aristotle numbered amongst political creatures), and yet have no other direction than their particular judgments and appetites; nor speech, whereby one of them can signify to another what he thinks expedient for the common benefit: and therefore some man may perhaps desire to know why mankind cannot do the same. To which I answer,

First, that men are continually in competition for honour and dignity,
which these creatures are not; and consequently amongst men there ariseth on that ground, envy, and hatred, and finally war; but amongst these not so.

Secondly, that amongst these creatures the common good differeth not from the private; and being by nature inclined to their private, they procure thereby the common benefit. But man, whose joy consisteth in comparing himself with other men, can relish nothing but what is eminent.

Thirdly, that these creatures, having not, as man, the use of reason, do not see, nor think they see, any fault in the administration of their common business: whereas amongst men there are very many that think themselves wiser and abler to govern the public better than the rest, and these strive to reform and innovate, one this way, another that way; and thereby bring it into distraction and civil war.

Fourthly, that these creatures, though they have some use of voice in
making known to one another their desires and other affections, yet they want that art of words by which some men can represent to others that which is good in the likeness of evil; and evil, in the likeness of good; and augment or diminish the apparent greatness of good and evil, discontenting men and troubling their peace at their pleasure.

Fifthly, irrational creatures cannot distinguish between injury and damage; and therefore as long as they be at ease, they are not offended with their fellows: whereas man is then most troublesome when he is most at ease; for then it is that he loves to show his wisdom, and control the actions of them that govern the Commonwealth.

Lastly, the agreement of these creatures is natural; that of men is by
covenant only, which is artificial: and therefore it is no wonder if there be somewhat else required, besides covenant, to make their agreement constant and lasting; which is a common power to keep them in awe and to direct their actions to the common benefit."

(It’s great to have this idea outlined so concisely. It opens a lot of doors. Ignorant artful socialism?, it’s like a managed tiered society, Brave New World-ish, but with the insects it’s not dark, it light, it’s nature. It’s like all the parts of the massive tree working together to get water from the earth all the way up to the leaves. How nature makes the best of any situation in a natural mechanical way. I wonder how you will/are conveying this idea in your sculpture, whether it be vague, obvious, or what.

This may be unrelated but the stuff about the fault of reason and also empathy made me think of Voltaire, in his Candide where the main character suffers the most terrible hardships one might imagine but he goes on repeatedly saying, it is how it is, there is no other way for it to be, his main quote is “this is the best of all possible worlds.? If you haven’t read Candide, you may be interested. It directly and repeatedly comments on human apathy. I think he is criticizing the reason of the enlightenment.

I’ve also been looking at a book of Wallace Stephens essays where he faults reason in the resolution of reality. The book is called “The Necessary Angel.? The imagination is the necessary angel of the book title. He says poets and artists go at finding reality with their imaginations while philosophers apply reason to explain reality. The problem with the philosophs is that they never get anywhere, they just compile theories then die. The art people present their insides in their work, their realities. They give us something tangible to deal with, something individual. What is more real and human than the inside of an individuals mind? Wallace says it “Reality is not the eternal scene, but the life lived in it.? The philosophs give us clouds. The poets give us angels.)

Pardon the woodiness of all this, but it seemed appropriate to respond to your responses. Feel free to re-respond if you’d like.

Enrique Chagoya

Enrique Chagoya creates complex imagery based on the human (mind) experience. Within his compositions, viewers discover the changing nature of culture. He juxtaposes cultural realities that he pulls from stereotypes surrounding Mexican Culture, American popular culture, pre-Columbian mythology, and western religious iconography. Drawing ideas from these diverse sources, his satirical and humorous packed works presents us with how our perceptions are dictated by the media.

Chagoya’s artist talk reflected the personality of his artwork. He often used humor when explaining the components within a single piece. In other moments, his tone was a bit more series especially when the work confronted us with forgotten and buried cultural histories. And when the imagery was overloaded with opposites, he admitted, “Sometimes I don’t even know what they [the artworks] mean...“ I was interested in these juxtapositions as they point towards shared cultural experiences and confusions.

Considering the political veins, Enrique’s talk allowed the audience to get into his process of creating controversial work. Throughout the talk, his excitement about investigating history, myth, and personal experience was clear from his early appropriations based on Goya’s work to his latest book pages. The number of early works could be minimized to keep within the sixty-minute timeframe, but overall the information was clearly delivered with enthusiasm.

Juanita Berrio Lesmes --International Artist

Juanita Berrio is currently a MFA candidate at the University of Minnesota. She has known since she was a child that she was destined to become an artist. She grew up in Colombia and moved to Italy to attend college. When choosing what subject to study, she was divided between social sciences and art, but ultimately decided art was her calling. As a child, she was taught that an artist was a painter. Berrio studied painting and expanded her artistic practice to include photography, digital media, sculpture, and installation while she was teaching Art History in Colombia. During the 3 years she was teaching, she realized the expansive media possibilities for creating art.

She has since explored collage through combining photographs, fabrics, and paintings. In these compositions, she juxtaposes good and evil, poor and rich, pretty and ugly, pure and impure,… Within these groupings, she is reacting against the categorical division of the world.

Life experience is the most important influence on her work. During college she studied Alchemy, war and postwar (In-formalism). Juanita had a strong desire to understand the effects of such events on art. These interests are linked to the tragic loss of her grandfather at the early age of eight. Berrio’s grandfather (her mother’s father) was murdered. He was a retire General of the Columbian Army and Juanita had deep admiration for him.

This event has had a deep impact on her life and humanity. Working through the difficulty of this situation has helped her narrow her conceptual focus to ideas surrounding healing, reconciliation, time, dialog, and memory. She has strong ideas about how art experiences can aid in rebuilding communities. Berrio is interested in working in domestic environments to see how people work through problems. She feels that these places allow individuals to behavior openly and honestly because of the familiarity.

Through her work, she wants her audience to question how you place yourself in social context, and how you place “others? in the same social context and why. Juanita’s strategy is to draw her audience in through strong aesthetics, which led to uncovering the layers of ideas.

Currently, she is preparing a collage of photographs for an exhibition in Montevideo, Uruguay at the Goethe Institute Gallery. Within each photo is a different scene of toy plastic figurines in varying situations. Berrio feels that the mass-produced characters represent us as a community, as well as, individuals. The photographs set up choreographed interactions, which in some scenes juxtaposing opposites (ex: army soldiers and ballerinas). These toys are cultural icons which relate to history and memory within the frames.

If Juanita could meet any artist (living or passed), she would like to meet Maria Teresa Hincapie. Hincapie was a performance artist who focused on the ideas of ritual and domestic. She had a love and respect of nature.

The Process of Ambiguity: Interviewing Jessica Teckemeyer

By Juana Berrio

Convinced that the only thing she doesn’t like about art is its wrong “elite reputation?, Jessica Teckemeyer is actively creating fascinating sculptures that reveal and make us conscious of our relationship with our own bodies, our consumerist instincts, and the natural and metropolitan environments we have contact with.

Native of the small community of Frazee, in the Midwestern American State of Minnesota, Teckemeyer received her BFA from Minnesota State University Moorhead in 2004, where she fell in love with sculpture and engaged in a material and conceptual conversation with it. She is currently pursuing her MFA at the University of Minnesota, where she works and interacts with other important and worldwide recognized artists such Josh Winkler, Jasmine Wallace, Peter Thompson, Meng Tang, Chad Rutter, Laura Primozic, Lindsay Montgomery, Jason Gaspar, David Donovan, Rashad Butler, T.J. Barnes, and Juana Berrio.

During her high school years, when the “what career question? started to be present in her mind, she was specially attracted by the idea of studying art. However, the way she got to her final decision was quite unusual. She still remembers that subjects such as Math, Science or English came pretty easy to her, but what about art? “Art was challenging because it took me more effort, so I was intrigued by that.? As it is true for many artists, at certain point she also considered the possibility of being involved in a more commercial carrier such as design, but then she realized that art made her think more because she couldn’t easily figure it out.

During the transitional semesters of the beginning of college, she decided to continue taking some chemistry courses while she was entering in the “art world?. Nowadays, she admits that those chemistry college courses, plus having a chemist aunt, have influenced her current artwork with the “problem solving process?, which is an essential ingredient in her artistic practice. In fact, the process of making her works is probably one of the things Teckemeyer enjoys the most. And there is no doubt about it since she works with a wide variety of materials like fiberglass, plaster, fabric, feathers, and even balloons!

Some of the works that have contributed Teckemeyer to gain recognition and create her unique artist language are her interactive sculptures. The aims of these texture-based pieces are to highlight the fact that we experience everything through our senses and to give people the opportunity to be aware and connected with their own bodies. In addition, she loves the idea that, while the audience interacts with her pieces, they may feel that they are interacting with art, and somehow this may help them to be more interested in art in general.

Despite the fact that Teckemeyer’s work is always changing and has explored different territories, she recognizes there is a common link, a connection among all her pieces. She believes each project takes her to the next one, especially when it comes to their physicality and material process. After using some materials in one project, she continues with the next one in a progressive or oppositional way. Some times, she continues using the same technique and process, but after working with some processes, such as fiberglass, which is very toxic and requires a specific outfit, she will probably try to work with fabric or something non-toxic. The decisions she makes about her artistic process are not only related with the concept of her pieces themselves, but also depend on the relationship between the materials and her body.

Although Teckemeyer does not recall a single specific life experience that has marked her artwork, she believes that all experiences get translated in the artist work, “there are specific things that are tight to your environment.? For example, she thinks that her projects based on the idea of consumerism and materialized through several interiors of purses made out of plaster, could be understood anywhere in America, because “it kind of mimics our environment.? Nonetheless, she also believes that some site-specific experiences and ideas could be also understood in different contexts. This is the case of her most recent work, which will be exhibited in November at the Goethe Institute Gallery in Montevideo, Uruguay. In this piece “I talk a about the duality of the Minnesota I love, between the metropolitan and the natural environment?. Regardless of its specific Minnesota’s essence, she thinks this installation is open and could be understood anywhere, because of the rural and urban contrast it reveals.
In fact, Teckemeyer’s work has a particular ambiguous character that is always inviting you to decode. Is it because she already resolved her intriguing high school question about art and now wants us to figure it out?

November 6, 2008

Pht on Jessica, Jason, Laura, TJ and Josh

Your preparation and practice were totally evident in your presentation, I think that is great. As I said I think that is far better than the painful for us and you alternative. I think now maybe it will be easier to relax it a little bit and make it feel slightly less formal and more personal at times. I would rather hear why certain art history references are important to you and less about them sounding like an art history lecture. I also appreciated the reference to reading and Ehrenriech, it is good to also bring in influences from outside the art world.

The old catholicism seems to make a connection to what you are doing with your performances. I like the very personal narrative about what you are doing and thinking about, with uncertainty mixed in. I think it can be good to be uncertain during a talk, I also think that in general chronology and starting from the beginning, where/when ever that is can be a great way to proceed.

The progression of your work makes sense, I like that I can see where it came from and how it came about. I like seeing the images of inspiration as well in your presentation, I also love the fact that your interest in icebergs came about during a family cruise.

I say tell stories for every artist talk. I found your telling to be completely engaging, informative and sincere. I was trying to think about how I would be reacting if I did not know you, which is hard to imagine, but I think the way you presented the sometimes masculine words was balanced by the video of you getting your ass kicked for 19 minutes. The contrast of seeing you get progressively more tired out as you spoke was compelling.

I again like how you start at the beginning and also bring in the land and the stone cabin. I do remember you saying something about how you dont think the images are that strong and that is why they need text, I dont think that is true and I also did not think you should or need to say that. I think it is ok to not be all confident (as I mentioned in connection to Jason) but I dont think you need to say that.

Chad Rutter has a chat with Peter Haakon Thompson

CHAD: You seem to have two practices: the personal photographic work and the collaborative public work. Which is more satisfying to you right now?

PHT: Right now I’m more interested in the collaborative, socially engaged projects. The art shanties were sort of like that, but not really since that started as something that I just wanted to do and it grew into something that engaged the community. I think the mobile projection thing was a little different. That sort of started with the community and grew. I’m trying to now figure out what the content of the projects can be as a community tells me what it is. It does seem simpler to just do the photos and not deal with a bunch of people and that's nice sometimes, but I’m more interested in the collaborations.

CHAD: What would need to happen in order for you to consider a public art project successful?

PHT: If it did something for the people I was trying to work with I guess. Definitely something that I want the art to do is help expand what other people think art is or what it can be. Claire Bishop seems to be someone that addresses a lot of what I've been thinking about and I actually went to see her when she spoke at the Walker. With that whole "collaboration or the aesthetic" thing I do think I'm somewhere in the middle. I don’t just want to measure the success by the collaboration, but also stress the aesthetic.

CHAD: Have you ever conducted a collaborative project that you felt was a failure?

PEACH TEA: (Pause while thinking) Some of the stuff we did over the summer with the projection project couldn't necessarily be considered a failure since it was so research based and we kind of gave ourselves the freedom to fail at times, but it definitely feels like there wasn’t always enough time and effort put into realizing each installation of the work.

CHAD: Going back to your more personal photographic work, why has the self-portrait stayed with you for so long? What is important to you about putting some part of yourself into so many of your photos?

PHT: Partly I think it’s practical. It seems to add a lot to an image of a landscape to put a figure in it. Also in a literal sense, these have been about my experience with these places. It seemed natural to put me in there as opposed to someone else, which would kind of put a layer between me and my being there. Also it was easier to just be able to do some weird motion with my body and capture it myself rather than telling someone else to do it.

CHAD: You mentioned that your father was a photographer and that you originally resisted it for that reason. Why did you decide that you wanted to be an artist (photographer or not) in the first place? What prompted you to go to art school in California?

PHT: When I first started taking the teen art classes at MCAD in Jr. High and early high school. I think that decided it for me. This might sound cliche, but I wanted to originally be an artist or a scientist, but I was failing chemistry and suddenly realized that it had a lot to do with math and I was horrible at math. I realized a lot of that stuff just didn’t come naturally to me.

CHAD: So you failed Chemistry?

PHT: No, I actually dropped it because I was failing it. But the teen art classes at MCAD were exciting. (thinking pause) I think it could have been the smell of art school. MCAD has a certain smell to it, like the print shops and the oil paint and graphite. So why did I go to California? I had kind of a romantic view of California and I guess art school is just a good time to go somewhere else for a while.

CHAD: How important has the Minnesota art community been in shaping your artistic practice? Have you always felt connected to it or have there been times you were kind of on your own?

PHT: When I first moved back from California, I didn’t feel like I was part of the community here at all. That took a while. I think it is a great community here and I feel like there were a lot of ways to enter into it so that I could do projects that were not just photographic.

CHAD: Your photos and the art shanties project seem to be very much about landscape and place at their core, and it could be argued that the mobile projector project was as well. Is this important to you? What is your relationship to landscape and place?

PHT: I guess just the fact that I feel pretty strong connection to place and it is important to me. I don’t think I could be living in New York and feel the same connection to that place that I do living and working here.

CHAD: Why is that?

PHT: I think it’s partly just the density of people. Maybe it makes it feel less special because there are so many people there. Harder to have a personal connection. Part of my connection to place and landscape is a lot about how the land actually feels and the physical sensation of that. Cities are not my ideal place to feel that. Minneapolis is nice because it's easy to get out of. It seems it would be harder on the east coast to get to that land and space. It would be harder to find the middle of nowhere.

CHAD: Is there any particular artist who does work radically different from yours that you have an interest in or special respect for?

PHT: I’m never any good at answering questions about other artists. Well, yeah, since I’m teaching photo 1, Robert Frank is an amazing street photographer. I love the way that he makes photographs and sees things. It’s not how I operate at all, but I really love that work.

CHAD: I think about projects like your left-hander solidarity meeting where ultimately very little was made physically. Is this a way of working that you are moving toward?

That’s been one of the difficult things. Doing work like that and then not having anything to show for it. Something I didn’t really think about coming to art school was this expectation to always have something to show. Sometimes showing the stuff that is evidence of what happened isn’t nearly as interesting to me. One of the things I’m doing at the West Bank shop is called “Teach Me Your Language?. Mostly that’s just me trying to learn some languages. Photographs of that are easy, but not really the point. I don’t feel I have to show something. I haven’t really worked out for myself how that stuff should be shown or talked about. If I wasn’t in school I wouldn’t even worry about that. School screwed everything up (laughs).

CHAD: Finally, who is your favorite artist in the sculpture department who is currently working with photographs of landscapes?

PHT & CHAD: (much laughing)

CHAD: Just kidding, that's not my final question. If you had to be any animal native to Minnesota, what would it be.

PHT: I love loons, but I also think about TJ’s whole thing about spirit animals and people lately have told me they think my spirit animal is a fox. I've been thinking about foxes lately.

interview with Laura Primozic

My interview with Laura was casual and fun. I wanted to mix questions about her past and how she came to art, with some questions relating to the content of her work which has to do with the environment and global warming.
I began by inquiring about her favorite subject in her early years of school. It was art, and she particularly was interested in drawing. This led to a great exchange between us about our best subjects for drawing as children. She talked about a project which I also remember having a lot of impact on me as a kid, which was to copy a master work. She recalled how much ease there was for her to problem solve and recreate the image.
Next we moved to the computer and I showed a youtube video I had seen recently about a Canadian electric car that was illegal to drive in Canada, so it was being sold in certain States down here. The vehicle is called the Zenn car and is so named because it produces zero emissions and no noise. Laura hadn't seen this particular kind of electric car and said she thought it was very cool.
My favorite environmentalist is David Suzuki, so I showed Laura a couple of interviews with him on youtube as well and asked her if she had a favorite environmentalist. She recalled also having the opportunity to see David speak at a previous ceramics conference. She said it was the first time anyone asked her to consider her objective waste as an artist, and it hit home.
Next I wanted to know which film she thought was better Inconvenient Truth, or 11th Hour, and also how effective these documentaries are at spreading the message of environmental degradation. She admitted that she hadn't see all of 11th hour, but that just like in her own artwork, the ability of what is produced to communicate is determined by the audience that consumes it. Which in the case of art and documentary film making is somewhat limited to an intellectual audience that is pretty informed already.
I ended my interview with Laura, by asking her where she would like to travel to next, and she said that she was looking forward to returning to Alaska and spending time there as less of a tourist, and really seeing the landscape from a different perspective.

November 5, 2008

Enrique Chigoya

Chigoya's talk was one of the better ones this semester. Maybe because the work itself has so much content that there is never a struggle to find a way in. I've always loved political satire, and his although slightly heavy-handed at times, has an amazing mix of pop and humor that lets him away with it and also brings in an audience that goes far beyond the art crowd. I really liked when he spoke about his difficulties in art school with his professors not being into the humor, and just ignoring it and continuing with what was important to him in the process. I'm a huge Goya fan, and it was fun to see an artist working with idea of appropriation and homage, which come into play in my own work as well. I found Enrique's manner and approach to speaking to students really impressive. He got down to business right away in the studio critiques and offered a lot of insight from a non-biased position. He seems to have a true and genuine enthusiasm for politics, which was perfect considering the time he was here. In the car to the airport he enthusiastically asked me so many questions about how government works in my country, and offered insights. Having him around for a couple of days was really fun, and not to mention that he picked me for third prize in the Halloween costume contest.

TJ, Laura, Jason, & Josh

TJ’s …I disagree with Brigg’s that you should let your audience know whether you’re giving a presentation or performance. Raad and Larson are great examples of performers who operate in a similar way you did and it works very well. You’re a natural. I’m still questioning whether all of your stories are truthful or exaggerations. I don’t want an answer. Art that keeps my mind returning to the experience is the most compelling.

Laura… Smart choice to animate your presentation in relation to the action verbs used to describe your research and influences. The presentation highlighted your sculptures very well (the research and influences worked as accents). In the future, dig into the conceptual side of the work further; keep the formal comments too.

Jason…Hearing about the places you have lived and experienced gives me more clues about your performances. I agree with the idea of mixing in your background with your work, so the audience sees your work sooner in the presentation. What about adding short video clips? Your voice was very calm and you didn’t swear! But, you didn’t look up very often. I admire your approach to life and art.

Josh…Your talk flowed naturally. I also enjoyed seeing the playground work and cabin undertaking (especially hearing about how the cabin is a sculpture). I’m very excited to see where you go with your work. I now look for cell phone towers in the “shape? of trees. If I see any in Uruguay, I’ll take pics and forward them on. Your writing and images will work very well in book format.

November 4, 2008

interview - lindsay

Reading Lindsay’s interview clarified a few questions regarding her inspiration.

Born in Washago, Lindsay grew up near the “gateway of the wilderness of Northern Ontario.? Her story of paddling to her friend’s house created beautiful visuals. Lindsay later moved to Toronto, where she has lived on and off for ten years.

She was the granddaughter of two painters and the daughter of a woodworker; it was destined for her to become an artist. After receiving a three-year craft and design degree from polytechnic, Lindsay made her way to the Nova Scotia College of Art where she would later receive her BFA.

Lindsay’s place of residence is Minneapolis. Different, she is rediscovering Canada in her work. Memory and story currently aid in her inspiration: family, the minx, and stuff.

Books and film interest her concepts and decisions. Today, stories as well as her interpretation of them fuel her creative choices. Another interest of hers is Victorian society. From zoos to plants, Lindsay is interested in the left over. Something I found fascinating was her remark on misinterpreting writers like Derrida, Marx and Foucault. Her telling me this evokes a kind of excitement-thanks for being honest and thanks for creating your own interpretations. Lindsay’s misinterpretations are what suggest new questions.

Currently she is reading Virginia Woolfe (a plus) and relational aesthetics.

I asked Lindsay what she thought of the state of the world and this was her response.

“I think it exist the way it always has, in turmoil and harmony at the same time, but the scale has gotten a bit beyond us and that is very worrisome?

Thanks for a great interview

Jason gaspar

Laura found out from Chad that

I interviewed Chad in the lobby of the Regis Center and asked him a series of questions about his background, source material, and the direction of his current work.

Growing up on a farm in Nebraska has not only influenced Chad Rutter in his work but also his choices to pursue an art career. Land use/land issues, have had an influence in his work with aesthetics to space and space relationship. However, coming from a family owned farm that is essentially a small business seemed to set him up for the culture shock that came when dealing with the business side of being a graphic designer. Trying to adapt to a client/service provider broke him. I suggested this broke his spirit. Although he left the graphic design field, design tendencies still appear in his work. He has always been attracted to the spare and bold aesthetics which sometimes culminates in something being under made or with the bare essentials in his installation work, which I think is interesting because he has a large resource of reference material but filters the excess.

Chad hopes that most Americans can relate to his landscapes images. He is not sure how people from other countries might relate to his work but he hopes that his works shows a universal wonder of ridiculous excess. He also doesn't see his landscapes as being made up, although in most of them he is combining images from different sources that do not actually occur in reality, he feels like they could exist. There is nothing in this culture that could keep them from coexisting. Chad also wants his viewers to have some sort confusion with his works. For example when mid-westerners view a landscape similar to the mid-west, they might question why did he take this picture?

In Chad's past work he was dealing with the urban and rural landscapes commenting on mass production and consumer culture, he was looking for a conclusion while also acting as an activist. At this point Chad has shied away from this position and sees his work as an awareness. An awareness of your surroundings, and the systems that build a nation. He feels at this point this project is endless, is locked into it for awhile and could be working towards his thesis with this work. Chad sees his time in graduate school as an awesome time to have access to a support system, where people want you to do well, and where it can ease you into the outside art community.

Josh -- Chagoya

Enrique spent a deal of time discussing his background. The political climate in Mexico when he was young, his exposure to a protest and how the media portrayed what he personally experienced, his father at the central bank in Mexico City with forgeries lining the walls. It took some time to cover all this but it was directly related to his work. The interesting story of the French forger and he father with art supplies in prison transitioned well to the Reagan/ Goya print and his own desires to make forgeries. Also, his background in economics directly referenced his political ideas.

He spend a lot of time on each image going into the references images and the political climate in which they were made and then into the political climate in which he made the prints. The extra info was very helpful in showing his process of creation and his attitude toward the art world and his art.

He was noteless and comfortable and the whole talk had the comfort tone of a story.

When he got into his books, I felt a little bombarded with images. Many of which were poor slides. And though I wanted to see everything he showed, I think a little less work would allow us to more enjoy the work he did show and the references surrounding the work.

Here are my notes:

Savage vs. civilized
Pilgrims were illegal aliens
Material world and spiritual world are ruled by the economy
Reverse anthropology
Illegal aliens are my heroes
Amphibious boats
I don’t know where I’m going so don’t follow me.

Q and A

Get away with something you really like
Follow your rebel self
Art is unique to time and place and individuals

Enrique Chagoya talk

I thought that Enrique's talk started off a little slow but ended well. It was really nice to see his references in relation with his own work. I also enjoyed that when he wanted to point out details he could zoom in on certain images. However some of his images seemed to be cropped from the start. I thought that he was able to keep the audience interested throughout his talk, and I really enjoyed his story telling. I would say that compared to the other artist that we had he was one that really had a strong presentation. I did not feel like any image or any explanation was irrelevant. I also really enjoyed his explanations they were clear and easy to see in his work. One complaint that has more to do with the space of the presentation, it was warm and crowded. Other than that it was refreshing to attend a well performed lecture.

November 3, 2008

Enrique Chagoya review

I really enjoyed Enrique Chagoya's talk on Thursday night. I found him to be a great storyteller as well as a scholar He would go off subject a bit here and there but I didn’t feel as though I was getting cheated for anything. I like when works of art have a story behind them, whether its content related or a highway road kill disaster. The talk did however run a bit long. And I’m not sure if it was due to being in the spill over seating but a few of his images seemed to be cropped off. All and all I feel as though it was one of the best talks this year.

presentation fedback

Jessica- your talk went smooth and was very thorough. I did get a bit confused near the beginning, not knowing when you started talking about your work instead of your influences. But maybe it was just me. Your images were well presented. I enjoyed seeing people interact with the work.

Jason- I noticed that during your presentation you kept looking up at the screen when talking about your work. I think kept the audience engaged with the work. I enjoyed how you told us about your background and how your lifestyle changed through out your years. I can see how those things influence your art.

Laura- As I said in class, you had a good balance of resource images and shots of your work. You might have been gong a bit fast but it didn’t detract form what you were talking about. I enjoyed the little pop up pictures they made the presentation fun.

TJ- Great stories! I found them to be very interesting and they told me a lot about who you are. I didn’t find them boring and don’t think I would if I didn’t know you either. You have a way with capturing an audience and holding them.

Josh- you had a great balance between your work and your influences. Your bits of humor really make for a fun presentation. Including your side projects like summer work making playgrounds and your stone cabin are nice touches to add in. They can lead to talking about your travels and such.