a blog about poetic creativity*******************ALL IMAGES © Stephanie Reid for HaikuFlash

Art

Tune in to Green (nature short film series) Exhibition Three – *Now Showing* online

Our sister organization, Diorama Room Arts has just made its, Tune in to Green – Exhibition Three live! The online show features 80-minutes of short films, under five minutes each, by artists who create in dialogue with nature. Artist statements and bios are also included. This show if full of color, music, and is decidedly rocky. The works include animation, 16mm film, and video. The trailer and rental link are below.

Featuring: Rachel Wagner – Columbus, Ohio; Jérémy Griffaud – Nice, France; Jay Roff-Garcia Venezuela & Austin, Texas; Anne-Katrin Speiss of New York, filming in Utah; Heidi Landau and Becky Mendizabal of Austin, filming in Utah; Stephanie Reid of Austin, filming in Bastrop; Jane Mast filming in Florida; Barbara and Dallas Rychener of Ohio filming in South Carolina; Lizzie Palumbo – Jeju Island, Republic of Korea; Asher Mains – Grenada, West Indies; Todd Rychener – Austin; gwen Charles – New Jersey; Anne Sophie Lorange – Norway; Dave Fields – Alaska; Roberto Turani – Milan filming in Tuscany and Lombardy; Florian Maricourt – France; Anna Bierler – Amsterdam; Elly Cho of New York and Seoul, filming in Thailand; Tina Šulc Resnik – Ljubljana, Slovenia; Wilson Kuzhur – Kerala, India; Salvatore Insana and Elisa Turco Liveri of Rome, filming in Cessalto; Deborah S. Phillips – Berlin; Emilie and Ralphe Crewe – Vancouver; Melissa Lockwood – Yavapai, Arizona; Maximilien Proctor – Berlin; gibberish – Los Angeles; Anna Berendsen – Geertruidenberg, The Netherlands; Laura Gillis – Toronto

There is a small fee to get a 72-hour streaming rental. However, starting your ad-free Vimeo account to view the show is free, and easy. Here’s how to get yours started: After you click the “Rent $7” button, it should ask you to Join or Log in. Enter your name, email address, and a password, then click “Join with email”. It will either log you in right away OR ask you to check your email for a message from them to confirm it’s really you.

Enjoy and please leave us a comment or like there after you watch it. Thanks!


Tune in to Green online short film series – Exhibition Two *Now Showing*

Tune in to Green – Exhibition Two, features 60 fascinating minutes of video, animation, poetry, and sound created by 19 artists + supporting crew, whose practice is in dialogue with nature. Featuring: Jan Adamove filming in Slovakia and Croatia; Rachel Glasser, Stephanie Reid, Brooke Gassiot & Kate Csillagi, and Dane Rougeau – Austin, Texas; Mélissa Faivre, filming in Haarlem, Netherlands; Mateo Vargas filming in Costa Rica; Tamara Maksimović – Bosnia and Herzegovina; Manuel Rossi and Dario Ricciardi – Argentina; Jody Zellen – Los Angeles; Orsolya Gal – Romania; Linda Duvall filming in Treaty 6 Lands (Canada); Gwen Charles – New Jersey; Enrique Cabrera filming in Seattle; Muriel Montini and Calypso Debrot – France; Daniel Lofgren – New York.

There is a small fee to get a 72-hour streaming rental. However, starting your ad-free Vimeo account to view the show is free, and easy. Here’s how to get yours started: After you click the “Rent $7” button, it should ask you to Join or Log in. Enter your name, email address, and a password, then click “Join with email”. It will either log you in right away OR ask you to check your email for a message from them to confirm it’s really you.

Enjoy and please leave us a comment there after you watch it. Thanks!

Submissions for Exhibition Three are due by May 2nd at https://dioramaroom.com

Professional, semi-pro, and amateur video makers (even using cell phones on FHD mode) are encouraged to submit experimental, animated, vignette, and abstract films that create a dialogue between humans and nature, with a max. running time of 5-minutes.


Short Films : Call for Entries

Haiku Flash Studios has just completed a poster, website, Vimeo, and Facebook pages for our new sister organization, Diorama Room, LLC, which may eventually become a non-profit and get a physical space if the online exhibitions are a success. Check it out:

Spending more time outside? Shooting some cool video? Spending more time in your film making studio? Submit your <5 minute shorts to the “Tune in to Green” online film series by November 8th! See the Call for Entry details at: https://dioramaroom.com


The NW Notes

20819517_10207465489395147_8837921243077360930_o

We were so fortunate to experience the NW with two weeks (Aug. 8th-22nd) of gorgeous weather and rain only happening at night. So many flowers were in bloom still and I was able to identify online, all of them but one. I met up with the Rycheners in Seattle, had a day there, we flew to Anchorage, rented an RV and rolled around Alaska. I went back to Washington to meet up with my dad for camping and the art opening where my latest studio work was being shown.

SEATTLE

Sunset from the plane

  Gray clouds close over

Orange sliver in the west

Like sleepy eyelids

Alki Beach
  Seagulls and a bald eagle. Sourdough bread and chowder sampler bread at Duke’s – seafood, clam, and lobster. A-Frame duplex covered in vibrant flowers. Monkey Puzzle TreeBarnacle and black seaweed covered steps. Massive freight barge, heavy with train cars, floats slowly down the Puget Sound. Maple’s red seedpods. Salty air.

Museum of Pop Culture
  I think this is going to be a museum about Jimi Hendrix. It definitely looks trippy on the outside. The music playing in the lobby is standard auto-tuned pop of the 2010’s. Nothing calls to me visually or sonically. We are pressed for time anyways, so $30 a ticket isn’t a price we are willing to pay to explore and see if anything else of interest is beyond the entryway.

Pike’s Place Market
Creamy yellow Golden Trout with pink lips and middle stripe; Three and a half to four ft. long chrome King Salmon; Two inch round, two ft. long king crab legs on ice; Bouquets galore – white lilies with lavender edging, silver painted branches, poppy seedpods, dahlias

Airplane Window

snowy mountain tops

melting into river trails

heading into bays

ALASKA

  Glenn Hwy. overpass overlooking pale ice blue stream frothing on the edges; Spruce broom rust in the tree tops kept tricking me into thinking there was a baby bear up there;  After watching the roadside for hours, in hopes of spotting an animal, I say, “It’s time to see a moose! That’s my declaration.” A few minutes later, while getting something out of my backpack, Todd yells, “A moose!” By the time I jump over to the window, it is already far in the distance. All I can see through the screen obscuring my view is a flash of a fuzzy moose and horns silhouette. Rocks arranged on bare dirt hillsides with names and animal shapes. We stay the night at a small RV park next to a glacial mountainside. I realize a glacier and iceberg are not the same thing. The cliffs across the street are speckled white in a couple of places. Through binoculars we can see they are dall sheep.

 

 

NW Trip Cell Best-13

Alaska-25Alaska-26

We stop in a small town named Nenana. We take our photos under an “Alaska” sign / photo booth on the side of the street. Wander around looking at the buildings and I spot a second bald eagle suddenly flying above me. My lens isn’t long enough to capture a great shot of it, but cool anyways. We stop in for lunch at a quaint little restaurant for lunch and the waitress offers us a zucchini from her garden, which lasts us several meals because as I mentioned, it was Alaska-sized! On the way out the door, we notice a book with names and dates next to it. I had just read American Gods, so between Mr. Rychener’s comments and that, I remember it is guesses of when the ice on a nearby body of water will melt after wintertime. Like in the book, something heavy is probably sitting on it that can fall in to prove the date. The winning guess gets a cash prize.

Tanana River whirlpools

Alaska-44Alaska-43

To see a video of these strange river vortexes, visit: https://vimeo.com/236171268

Tok River
  We hear strange insect / birdlike sounds from the trees then realize it was these tiny red squirrels: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFQKzsz1j7s  Two tasty local beers: Kodiak Brown Ale with ballistic Grizzly Bear on the can + Moose Drool light ale. Long-lasting jewel toned sunsetPattering of drizzle on leaves sounds like a rain stick.

right side photo by Todd Rychener

Hidden Lake
  Surprise “use-at-your-own-risk” canoes; “Snowball flowers” (Cotton sedge grass); Boggy, mosquito ridden landscape. Deliciously mild low bush cranberries for days. I can’t get enough of them.; We see some birds fly in and out of the trees. Mr. and Mrs. Rychener say they are gray jays, but I don’t get a good look. ; Fisherman’s catch of silver with purple striped trout

low bush cran collage2

Hidden Lake-29

carnivorous sundewcarnivorous sundew

Hidden Lake-13

Barb and Dallas Hidden Lake-1Barb and Dallas Hidden Lake-4

Reindeer (caribou) dogs roasted over an open fire; Misty morning on Moon Lake; Raven honking on top of a tree sounded like geese

Alaska-50

Alaska-76

NW Trip Cell Best-18

Alaska-77Alaska-78Alaska-79

On the road near Eielson AFB
  Cliff side’s jagged edges make easy climbing ledges for spray painting who loves who and favorite sports teams. A pipeline, suspended up high, stretched alongside the pavement. Trance inducing, the trees go on and on…

Alaska-41

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Fairbanks
  Flocks of Canadian Geese fly over the RV park; In hope of bread, ducks swim towards a girl and her brother fishing in the pond. A young one gets entangled in the fishing line. The boy goes for scissors while Todd helps unstring its wing. My good buddy / neighbor / coworker on Jeju Island, S. Korea, Dave picks us up and takes us to local hangout, The Golden Eagle Saloon, for a mini party with him and a musician friend, Isaac, who I also knew on the island.

right side photo by Todd Rychener

  Afterwards, we pick up some of his fellow Shakespearean actors living in an artists’ camp in a birch forest. They are both from Wisconsin, where I was born, and one happened to be from the graduating high school class of my dad! Those trees are known to be home to flying squirrels. A prop rests at the base of the trees – a wooden cutout of a ship with a red wig hanging over the bow.

Dave drives us out about an hour away under a lovely sunset. We carefully watch for moose while singing 70’s and 80’s rock songs or listening to jazz and electronic music playing on the radio. Finally we arrive at Chena Hot Springs. I can’t say enough good things about the place. I would go there every day if I could. The springs are enclosed in boulders that you can stretch, sit, or climb on. There is a fountain you can sit under. A strong sprayer to pound your shoulders with. The water ranges from warm to as hot as it can get before scalding you. We would have stayed much longer had they not been closing for the night.

  The next morning, another dear friend I met in S.Korea, Carey, picked me up and then we swung around to get Dave for breakfast at The Oasis. Crab meat eggs benedict and good company. If you ever need some good reading about Alaska before your trip, visit the site Carey writes for, http://www.onlyinyourstate.com/

right side photo by Todd Rychener

On the road again
  Abandoned four-story, igloo shaped hotel. Beverage business yard sign announcing, “Yes. We have Red Bull smoothies!” *BLECH* Yellow and blue painted metal sign for True Value Hardware on A-frame cabin with wooden sun and rays above its garage door and windows. There are stops along the way where we have to sit for about ten minutes as construction is underway. A stout little native woman holds a sign up in the road reminding us to stop, then eventually gets into a “pilot car” pickup truck and leads us out of the maintenance area.

Alaska-37

Denali National Park and Preserve

 Our first night is spent in an RV spot in the preserve. The next morning, while hiking along Savage Creek, we hear a sharp squeaking sound, almost like a dog toy, but can’t find its source. Camouflaged with the rocks are these little chinchilla looking rodents, which someone correctly guess it is a pika. Pika facts: In order to warn its neighbors under the rocks, pika scouts looking out from above will give off a sharp squeaking sound when predators, including humans are nearby. It’s a prairie dog! No, it’s a ground hog! No, it’s an Arctic ground squirrel. This large rodent is digging away and pulling out plant roots, chewing them up like pretzel sticks.

pika meep webground squirrel pretzel web

Pretty river flow: https://vimeo.com/236217656

The next night we stay outside of the preserve, but near Denali, at an RV park called the Grizzly Bear. Just before sundown, we walk to the river access across the highway…

In the resort next to the river, we hear from a gift shop cashier that she saw a mother moose and calf around 9:30PM. We decide to take a night drive in hopes of having the same luck. I spot a young one cross the road so Todd stops the RV to watch. Several other cars stop as well. People are getting out and taking photos, but we can’t see from where we are so we get out too. We move into a fairly close vantage point but with plenty of shrubbery between us and the mother moose there. We are growing uncomfortable though because one of the people is clearly getting too close and making the cow nervous. We tell her so, but she didn’t seem to either understand or care. A tour bus driver tells us that we should back away, so we leave.

Alaska-7halfmdnt

  Moose (and willow) facts: Although moose are in the deer family they are given bovine names (bull, cow, and calf). People who use all of the parts of a dead moose use the brain to tan its hides. Females have 24 hrs. to breed. If male smells the mating hormone, he will slowly approach female and rest his head on her rump. If she is receptive, they will proceed.

  Several types of willow, which contains vitamin c and the pain relieving acid used in aspirin, grow in Alaska, but I never saw a weeping willow. Most likely because many animals, including the moose, like to eat it in abundance, so it never gets a chance to grow large. They eat 7-10 times a day because they require 50-60 lbs. of food per day. In order to be able to recover from the feasting, part of the year willow puts out a chemical that animals cannot digest. That is when they begin eating other things.

  A dewlap is a flap of skin under the chin of a moose. Experts are uncertain what the purpose is, but our shuttle driver, Bard makes us laugh when he says, “Let’s get our dewlap pierced!” Bard said that more deaths happen per year by female moose attacks than by any other cause. Be careful not to get too close, especially to a baby moose because it’s mother is nearby. According to my dad, if their ears go back, they are likely to charge you.

  Horseshoe Lake, a gorgeous emerald body of water in a valley. Although we haven’t had luck spotting a moose, we discover moose tracks. There are impressively cut beaver dams and gnawed fallen trees. Female mallards and ducklings splash about and fish. We see a lone fish that Todd recognizes as a Arctic grayling because of its large dorsal fin. We stop to take a photo together against the lush colors and a gray jay lands on a tree near where we are sitting, so we get a good look at it. It’s really cute!

Beaver collage

 This video shows a creek full of of sediment from melted glaciers. It is uninhabitable by fish or amphibians: https://vimeo.com/236218216

We visit a sled dog kennel where the dogs are so mellow I wonder if they are sedated. When it comes time to put on a show for us though, they go wild – barking and jumping in hopes they will be the ones picked to perform and get treats. The canines are still used to run sleds up to high parts of the mountains that are inaccessible to vehicles, but where park staff are stationed.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 To see the show, visit: https://vimeo.com/236217730

6,000,000 acres; Denali Mountain means “the high, big, or great one” in Athabascan. It was named Mount McKinley because a Republican explorer and gold prospector wanted to celebrate the presidential nomination of William McKinley, who had never even been to the state. President Obama officially renamed the mountain in efforts to restore respect back to Native Americans. It was too cloudy to get a glimpse of its peak while we are there because it is the tallest one in North America, so this opportunity is rare. We see so many other gorgeous ranges on our shuttle tour though such as the impressive Sable Pass, Polychrome Mountains, Geode Mountain, and Eielson.  When I try to pick up one moose horn at one of the stops I can’t. I start cracking up over how heavy it is. Needless to say, they are massive animals.

Other things we see on the shuttle are: homosapiens in brightly colored rain gear; low level strips of water weaving around the riverbed is called a braided river; random ring of red leaved plants on a hillside; male moose bones scattered in a field from wolf pack attack,  and a weird “fairy portal” made of birch in the middle of a field. Shuttle bus stops for us to see a few willow ptarmigan, the state bird of Alaska. They are ground birds from the grouse family and are hunted as a food source by humans. The consensus online is that they taste like quail and/or chicken. Despite all the bear activity warning signs at the trail heads, luckily we never see one close up on our walks. Fortunately, we see several from a distance. There is a grizzly that appears to be frolicking, but we are told it is injured. Blond grizzly mamas and cub twins foraging for berries on the hillsides. When salmon season is over, they change their food source. It’s hard to imagine they can get enough berries for those big bodies. A lone female moose far in the distanceCaribou (reindeer), which I am uncertain as to the sex of because both females and males grow antlers.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

  Mice with a red stripe down back running around the park’s Wilderness and Visitor Centers. One hangs out under a hanging planter, as it’s being watered by someone on a ladder, so it can lap up the liquid draining onto the ground below. They scurry too fast for me to catch a photo and I can’t find one on the internet.

Driving back towards Anchorage
  Vegetables get enormous because there is so many hours of sunlight. Supposedly it went down completely at 3 AM and rose again at 4 AM. A zucchini about 18″ long and 5″ wide on the bottom end is sitting on the counter of The Flying Squirrel Bakery Cafe, Talkeenta, AK. They offer birch syrup drinks, but I really just want a sample of it so I know what it tastes like. The lady behind the counter gives me a couple of drops in a spoon. It tastes almost like molasses, but not as heavy. We enjoy a delicious smoked salmon bagel sandwich. The trees surrounding the place are draped in a soft green moss that I haven’t seen anywhere else we’ve traveled to. In the woodland trail I spy a dark-eyed junco (slate colored subspecies).

  We stop because Barbara sees a trumpeter swan couple in a pond. In the next RV park, Montana Creek, we park in for the evening, we go for a walk by a creek and see a school of fish close to the opposite shore, probably salmon, appearing to swim in place. They are most likely laying eggs in the rocks. A large, dying one is swimming alone on the shore we are standing on. Seagulls fly overhead. I occasionally hear one swoop down to try and pick one up or hear a fish jump. Todd and his dad part ways with me to eat, while I obsess over lovely lichen patches with my close-up filter while talking and singing aloud to invisible bears that could walk up at any time, especially if they smell fish. Lichen are not plants, but a symbiotic relationship between algae and fungi. They absorb minerals from the rocks, trees, and bones they attach to and create soil by expediting the decay of those hard surfaces. Some varieties are then eaten for their mineral and protein content by moose and caribou.

I traverse through most of the woods there and stumble across a tunnel window. Just after taking a picture, I small man, with a strong resemblance to a leprechaun in his plaid paddy cap, white hair and beard walks into the passageway, carrying a bundle under his arm, grumbling fiercely to himself. I scramble up the hill to the train tracks because a petite woman alone in the wilderness should be especially cautious. Todd said he was probably grumbling because there wasn’t enough gold under the rainbow. Later I see him in an RV near ours. He no longer sports a sweatshirt, but a long sleeved tee with suspenders. I see that he is Asian and his beard was merely speckled with white, but the darkness of the tunnel must have only allowed that to show through.

Alaska-252

A wild berries of Alaska poster at one of the trail heads helped us recognize the abundant high bush cranberries there. We sampled some. One was too tart, one was awfully overripe, one was just right. Still, I preferred the low bush type that we had a few days before.

left bottom and middle photo by Todd Rychener

  Musk ox farm in Palmer, AK. They are raised here in order to harvest the down under their hair. This ultra-soft fiber, qiviut (KIV-ee-OOT), is warmer and softer than sheep’s wool. When these animals are grown, they looked like giant long-haired guinea pigs (with horns). Highly durable and waterproof scarves and other items are made from qiviut. Just a shake will dispel all the water even from a rain soaked garment! Their astounding spiral nasal cavities allow the air to warm up before reaching their lungs, so that they can endure -80 degrees fahrenheit! Obviously, qiviut has helped them survive those temps too. Oomingmak, as the animals are known to native peoples of the area, have been around as long as the woolly mammoth and fossils of them have been seen as far south as Florida. If have ever been a fan of the Cocteau Twins, here is a lovely song, named after these sweet animals: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSKO2vDTfq4

Anchorage Airport
has a bar called the Sleeping Lady where an art exhibit featuring work by living artists from Northwestern Native American tribes.

WASHINGTON

Snoqualmie National Forest, Washington, Denny Creek Campground
  Dad picks me up after dark from the airport. He’s smaller than I remember. He says I am too. He says he shrank by two inches after he had spinal surgery. I don’t remember the conversation now, but I remember his is in a great mood and being funny. We haven’t seen each other in four years. I haven’t been to Washington in seven. We arrive in the forest after dark, but I can still see the massive trees. The sky is clear so I can finally see the stars! I don’t have a tripod with me, so I rest my camera on the ground supported by a flashlight.

In the morning, we eat sage sausage that he has made with fresh eggs. I take a walk by the creek (Denny) flowing through the park. It’s the prettiest creek I’ve ever seen. There are clear running waterfalls and pools along the trail. I become so engrossed there that I hardly even wander far from camp, but am gone for hours.

pearly everlastingWashington highlights-21

When I return Dad shows me his walking stick that he has hung feathers of Stellar’s Jay, woodpecker, and crow. He shows me a bone that is used to make an arrow shaft from a small tree branch. There are many robins but the light is too dim and they are moving too quickly for me to get a good shot. I did manage to get one of a hairy woodpecker. At night we make a campfire and act silly.

The next day we have breakfast, then head over to Columbia City neighborhood in Seattle, when I am participating in an art exhibit. To see images from that show, visit my other blog post: https://haikuflash.wordpress.com/2017/09/06/su-casa-es-mi-casa

My friend in Alaska, Dave, tells me to go to a diner in North Bend because it’s the one everyone hangs out at in the surreal murder mystery series Twin Peaks. We just happen to be staying 20 minutes from there, so plan to head over for breakfast, pie, and coffee. I have been watching Twin Peaks: The Return every Sunday, so am excited to be in one of the three-dimensional locations I have seen on the two-dimensional screen. We are greeted by a flashing open sign with a blue neon mug and red marquee lights above it representing steam rising from its hot liquid. I’m pretty sure it was in one of the episodes.

  The props and memorabilia sprinkled throughout the place definitely lend to the feeling that the show is superimposed on top of the charming diner. I can see close up, the panoramic landscape painted in a strip along the entire wood paneled wall. My cup is emblazoned with the logo for Twede’s Cafe along with their slogan “The Home of Twin Peaks Cherry Pie and ‘A Damn Fine Cup of Coffee’.” A rectangular wooden sign with letters carved out and painted white: TWIN PEAKS Population 51, 201, sits on top of the pie case. A man, appearing to be the manager, sports a t-shirt with a Twin Peaks Sheriff Department decal on the back. To top it off, as we are leaving, we see an FBI Agent smoking out back with one of the waiters as a sun dog glows above us, just like in the intro scene of every Twin Peaks: The Return episode.  In fact, that entire fictitious town, invented by David Lynch and Mark Frost, is situated in that area, including other regular scenes depicted in the show, the Snoqualmie Falls (named for a branch of the Salish tribe) and “Crying Man” mountain, Mount Si.

To see this gorgeous misty waterfall in action, visit: https://vimeo.com/236171694

After brunch and a walk to the aforementioned falls, we go hiking up to Franklin Falls, which feeds the creek running through our camp, Denny Creek. On the way up, we see many small trees growing from hollowed out dead tree trunks that have filled with dirt; cozy cabins; a tree trunk remnant that serves as a rocking bench, which I enjoy with a random little girl on the trail; a tree base that looks like a giant spring onion; and tiny black squirrels. It’s a sunny day, so at the apex we see many rainbows in its mist. The water is cool and fresh. Dad finds an arrowhead along the rocky shore. We see a young guy climbing the cliff side really fast like he is a billy goat.  We walk off our Twede’s, so have room for grilled steak, compliments of dad’s friend who owns cattle and uses no hormones or antibiotics. Needless to say it was super flavorful and fresh.

Washington highlights-48 copy

Washington highlights-47

Washington highlights-45

The next morning, we are considering going into the city to meet with the Rychener’s to view the eclipse, but are worried about the traffic, which has been insane the past couple of days. Instead we drive out to the highway near the campground where we have a clear view of the sun. The peak of the eclipse is supposed to be at 10:20, but it is still pretty bright outside, which I am not expecting because I had already seen one in the 80’s that was much larger (lower in the sky because it was evening time) and probably closer to totality because it got much darker. It did cool down noticeably though. I try to capture a shot at 1/8000th of a second, ISO 100, and f32, but my lens isn’t very long and when I review the image, it doesn’t look like much…until I see it on my monitor! So pretty! Very different than the cell phone pix I take, which only show a tiny trace image of a crescent sun shape off to the side.

Washington highlights-52

  We enjoy lunch and a pint at my favorite Irish restaurant, Kell’s. They have the best soda bread and so many delicious seafood choices. It’s right on the wharf, so we stroll over to the aquarium, which was closing soon and cost too much for the amount of time we would have in there. Still, we get a good view of the water, boats, and gulls. We have some time to kill before heading to the airport, so we make our way to the Discovery Park lighthouse, West Point Light. The park is non-existent without getting a special permit first, so dad drops us off and comes back to get us later. The nostalgic looking building has been renovated and has been automated since 1985.

Washington highlights-54

I don’t want to leave the wilderness to return to Austin traffic and heat, but I know that the bitter cold will catch up with the Northwest shortly after we leave. Luckily for them, they get the Northern Lights as consolation. We are too early to catch any. It isn’t dark enough. I hope to go back another time for their electric show and go to Valdez too, which is highly recommended by several people.

To see more photos from this trip, visit: https://haikuflash.photoshelter.com/gallery/Alaska/G0000nLeUEupIxYA/C0000wXadIR1Yr_g AND https://haikuflash.photoshelter.com/gallery/Washington-State/G0000lWJERtcV3d4/C0000wXadIR1Yr_g

 


Su Casa es Mi Casa

Some shots from the juried exhibit, Gimme Shelter, at Columbia City Gallery in Seattle, where I am showing my project, Su Casa es Mi Casa (video and building cards). According to the gallery’s website, Gimme Shelter “speaks to the many types of dislocation happening in society today both locally and internationally. Artists working in 2D, 3D and video address issues of homelessness, gentrification and refugee dislocation.”

My project focuses on twelve meandering months of sacrificing stability to focus on art by completing an MFA, showing work abroad, having difficulty trying to find employment during school and after graduation, and thus also trying to find a long term residence, especially where rising rent costs are prohibitive. Here, 26 surfaces slept in during that time are the focal point. Some while house sitting, dog sitting, renting cheap rooms briefly, or visiting far away friends.

The images are rendered in impermanent media in a style touching on the vulnerability and fragility of a dollhouse, yet in some cases are also reminiscent of an interior blueprint. They are primarily recollections from memory vs. photographic representations. Therefore, the room renderings are wrought with inaccuracies and omissions. Words are imperceptible in the disorienting layered monologue which ponders the meaning of “home” for someone who has accepted nomadism and expansion through travel and creativity over domesticity, yet longs for a place to settle down. The disquieting incompleteness and constant change provides comfort through spaciousness and balances the alternative by thwarting staleness. On the other hand, constant movement is contrary to the stillness needed to support long term goals. Therefore, balance must be found between the two, just as it is required to build a house of cards. The concentration, energy, and persistence needed to succeed during this period of transition is apparent in the tension of the monologue and motion of the builder and camera operators, Stephanie Reid and Todd Rychener.

Camera operation: Stephanie Reid and Todd Rychener
Illustrations, Direction, and Editing by Stephanie Reid

Video: https://vimeo.com/221571137

Detailed images of the cards: http://haikuflash.photoshelter.com/gallery/Su-Casa-es-Mi-Casa/G0000UW0W15mhFLE/C0000nFrmMwTH.y4


Creatures in the Moon

Stills from a handmade book, Creatures in the Moon, that I made in collaboration with Todd Rychener to be sent to Telavi State University (Republic of Georgia) as a gift for their library. Book artist / educator, Miriam Schaer, will be delivering the books in person during her Fulbright awarded trip to teach and research felt and embroidery in art book making. Todd and I illustrated our book with colored pencils, gel pens, paint pigment, and gouache. The story is the third in a series of book films I am currently working on.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


















Winter Shadows

In between larger, complex projects, I do simple ones like this little series of photos, Winter Shadows (a follow up to my Autumn Shadows series from 2015) in collaboration with another Austin artist, Todd Rychener, for the Weather show at Lower Level Creative Space in Denver with colleagues Lindey Anderson from Colorado (Gallery Director), Asher Mains from Grenada, and Andy Spaziani from Canada.

empty seed pods

dead leaves

bare twigs

empty seed pods

winter color

winter-shadows

 

 

 

 


Dissolve – A collection of photography on the theme Imperceptible Self

This summer, in Berlin, the Transart Institute is hosting an art festival, the Transart Triennale, with artists from far way presenting works that speak to the theme Imperceptible Self, a term coined by philosopher Rosi Braidotti. For the TI Triennale Media Tent, I have curated a blog post, entitled Dissolve, featuring three photographers’ works which I feel poetically embody this theme. (*Not for viewing by children*). To visit this work on the TI Triennale site, view it here: http://www.transarttriennale.org/blog/dissolve

 

In a world full of chaos we must search inside ourselves for orientation. Our motivations towards material success, desires, and status melt away as we access the internal realms. Once ego has dissolved, we tap into the flow of potentialities where we find beautiful and bizarre revelations beckoning us to give birth to them as art, stories, and sound. Those who can translate the meaning of what they have discovered inside their psyches, give us a better understanding of their imperceptible selves. Their identities become more closely aligned with their purpose as embodiments of an eternal life-force. In this exhibition, three photographers have done just that. By tuning into what is beyond the visible, they have brought psychological and emotional impact back into the physical realm using symbolic gestures, props, and movement. Stephanie Reid – curator.

 

Raphael Umscheid

Ghosts

Approaches to art that are perpetually bright and sunny lack dimension as they ignore the darker aspects of life. The Surrealist André Breton coined the term “l’humour noir”, also known as black comedy or gallows humor, which takes a cynical approach to sensitive topics. It often makes light of them, sometimes in offensive ways, in order to prompt serious contemplation. L’humour noir writing usually concludes that life is meaningless, yet absurdly comical.

Similarly, in Umscheid’s “Ghosts” we might coin the term gray comedy. Here he represents the mental blind spots where our motivations are still secreted away from consciousness. This is the stage where we function as shades of ourselves. Yet the apparitions he depicts are sympathetic characters. Some are caught between oblivion and manifestation / ego and spirit, not quite ready to surrender to the mystery of becoming-imperceptible. Like small children trying to find their way, he keenly describes their awkwardness. Their grasping at the invisible strings of the world as if it were a puppet is futile. Their imbalance and uncertainty causes them to collide into delicately gorgeous and vaguely humorous consequences. Even the “Made in Korea” marking sewn onto the borders of the fabric are part of the haphazard nature of these ghosts’ encounters. In Falter, a ghost drags its paint covered foot as if it had accidentally stumbled into it and is now attempting to wipe it off. In Fallen Petals, the apparition props up a dead flower on its hip as a final protest to fading away. The two almost seem to empathize with each other. In Pool’s Bottom, the phantom gives a shudder and impulsively fights to maintain muscular control in the final throes of losing corporeality.

Others in his series appear as if they have finally succumbed to their dissolution. In Becoming the Other, individual personalities are lost as they merge to become new forms. In To the Heavens, lets its limp limbs float with the stars. Finally, in Uncloaking, it appears as if one is already levitating, and about to be unveiled after an incubation period. It has touched the invisible and is now prepared to function with a new mind state perpetually open to flux.

Painted Leg

Falter

Floating with the Stars

To the Heavens

Fading Petals

Fallen Petals

Uncloaking

Uncloaking

Shudder

Pool’s Bottom

Becoming Other

Becoming the Other

 

(Models: Dandie Doyle, Kate Kubala, Heather Sanford, Mechelle Gonzales, Rachel Theobald, and Jordan Schiappa)

——————————————————————————–

George Angelovski

Post Morality

How can men learn from the feminine Jungian archetype, the anima, theorized to be inside them all? She is said to visit their dreams to guide them towards enhancing intangible abilities such as intuition, receptivity to the irrational, and depth of emotion, all of which will balance their lives. In his Post Morality series, Angelovski has done just that by listening to his inner visions and dreams about how to proceed with a portrait session requested by the pregnant model.

Despite the collection seeming to be influenced by Joel Peter Witkin, after getting to know the model better, Jan Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring suddenly came to the photographer’s mind. That famous painting is sometimes considered a tronie, a 16thand 17thcentury term for Dutch and Flemish paintings of heads of universal character types, usually wearing costumes, and portrayed to show distinct expressions descriptive of those characters. A youth might be making a funny face or a witch might appear to be laughing hysterically. Sometimes the faces were obstructed by shadows to create a more dramatic image.

A subsequent dream of the model wearing one of artist Polly van der Glas’s “facebags” became the catalyst for the costume in these photos. Similarly to the ploy of shadows in tronies, the woman’s face is totally covered here leaving the expression to be found on the mask itself, which might be indicative of what she is representing or feeling such as in the warrior-like characterization on the mask in organ of corti, where she is standing confidently. If one can overlook the alarming, almost grotesque images, the fact that the figure wears masks with no way to look outwards, reveals to us that she embodies the skill of looking inward in contemplation. Perhaps even better able to communicate with the child in her womb. Angelovski then, has shown in these images a potent connection between spirit and flesh, not only of one’s self, but with others. What better archetype to embody this ideal than a mother, a woman who is willing to sacrifice so much in life and become so vulnerable for her child-to-be?

Finally, it is very fitting that while trying to find a third person for this exhibition, I had a daydream vision of George’s face in a dark stairwell with a spiral staircase. A few days later, I saw this Post Morality series and it dawned on me that it was the missing link between the other two artist’s works here.

with god under me

pilli

organ of corti

virgins milk figure 2

socrates bar

———————————————————————————-

Analia Sirabonian

(in collaboration with her brother, Andrés

Where is the beginning and ending of our flesh? When we empathize with another? When we are outsiders who do not function by the status quo? When we build our lives around genuine passion and devotion to our work? When we commune with our environment?

Here, Analia explores these questions by seeking the answers in the story of the unusual life circumstances of herself and her brother, Andrés. Although they have the same parents, he was first born with a natural genetic alteration causing physical disfigurements and a mental disorder, whereas she was born after genetic adjustments were made to ensure she was healthy. In opposite ways, how they were brought into the world is very different from the majority of humans. Together they are outside of societal norms. Their portrait below shows Ani tenderly expressing her attempt to empathize with and protect him, hiding his protruding rib cage and face, while at the same time gently placing her hand on his.

In her second piece the gyroscopic panorama of the kitchen in a restaurant where Andrés is a potato peeler, he again only shows his lovely, dedicated hands to us.

The final photograph, from her series of misshapen potatoes, represents the ones he discards at work, almost tragically revealing his self-image by imitating of the majority of society who compulsively reject that which is not uniform.

Autorretrato II (Self-Portrait)

**Below is a still image from a 360 degree interactive gyroscopic image, entitled José, after the owner of the restaurant where Andrés works.

To view it, click here, then scroll left, right, up and down, for the full view: http://analiasirabonian.esy.es/jose/

Jose detail

Misshapen potatoes (1 of a series of 3)

 


Bon Courage

French flag towers

Bon Courage

As shock, grief, and anger worked its way through me over this event I took my time to write out my thoughts and feelings over it before really discussing it publicly.

Friday, November 13th, 2015: Attacks in Paris. Over 300 deaths and injuries, such as possibly debilitating ones like bullets in the legs. Many people, including those who have bad mouthed France, and especially Paris, to me colorize their Facebook pages in the colors of the French flag or the peace symbol with Eiffel Tower graphic in support. I refrain because I don’t want to be misunderstood as simply jumping on the bandwagon or not caring about attacks elsewhere in the world. I hope those who though ill of Paris before have had a change of heart after seeing how well they stuck together. My thoughts below are in my constant defense of the City of Light. Have you seen a sunset there or on a train from Paris to the SE coast? It is indescribably lovely. The pink light on centuries old carved stone, the river, the twinkling tower on the hour, the fairy tale chateaus and hills dotted with sheep. Then there is the food! Don’t get me started. Paris & France are not better than anywhere else, but unique in a marvelous way.

Saturday, November 14th, 2015: I’m not going to hide the fact that I resent people trying to make us feel guilty for our grief over Friday’s attacks in Paris or worse yet acting like the people who were killed had it coming to them because their governments are corrupt. I had seen it mentioned in the news just as I had seen the attacks in the Kenyan university in April and the almost constant attacks in the Middle East. I read all of them and cried but know not what to do, so have to quickly separate myself from it. What would you have us do, stare into the face of terrorism every day? Have it effect our entire life when we have no control over it? I’m not going to apologize for not wanting to be in pain every day. So, if two other people hadn’t brought it up that night in more detail I probably would have moved on with my life and not given it more of my energy, despite the fact that I have been to Paris several times, spent enough time there to feel I know it well, and spent a lot of time practicing speaking French.

However, as details were revealed, on top of feeling like a dear friend has been hurt and a large number of people injured or killed while they were in her arms, I am seeing the effect of this on music. I spend a great deal of time in concert halls and venues. Not only has the entire city been shut down for days, but many musicians have lost their livelihood by having their shows canceled there. If you know nothing about Paris, you should at least know that creativity has thrived there for decades. A vast list of talented people flock to, are accepted, and thrive there…Nina Simone, Salvador Dali, Coco Chanel, Albert Camus, Brassaï, Marcel Duchamp, Josephine Baker, Vincent Van Gogh, Daguerre, The Lumière Brothers, Les Nubians, Birdy Nam Nam…If these names mean nothing to you perhaps this is why you can’t understand how tragic this feels. I am an artist, so it hits me hard.

A man made a song as an emotional response and way to cope with this situation and people are commenting on his Soundcloud page that he is trying to cash in and/or get attention in the wake of this tragedy (despite him not selling the song). Seriously?! If you have no understanding of the need to express yourself artistically, please find an outlet. Art is not a crime and neither is a party or being fabulous. This sound artist was trying to heal himself with his artform and thankfully many responses were positive, including from a 10th arrondisement resident who said it was therapeutic while dealing with the aftermath. Others angrily wanted to know why he didn’t write a song for the people who died in Beirut or Baghdad…

Have you ever been to Paris? Yes, many of us in the west know a great deal more about it than those two cities because we have been there. I have been welcomed there on several occasions and had an amazing time. No, I don’t buy into the, “Everyone is rude in Paris,” line because I have never had anyone be rude to me there. It’s a big city. Just because you spent a lot of money on your vacation to get there, doesn’t mean everyone is going to want to be your best friend once you arrive. If someone bumps into you in the sidewalk because you were standing in the middle of foot traffic looking at your map expecting them to say, “excuse me” is ridiculous (True story). Trust me, if someone in Paris, New York, or Miami wants to get rude with you, it will be blatantly clear.

Like most major cities, Paris is very multicultural, meaning it welcomes people around the world to represent it. Pulling out the, “You’re only upset about this because white people got hurt,” card is extremely insensitive, two-dimensional, and well, I hate to say it, but racist. The musician I wrote about in the previous paragraph is black. I implore people with this sentiment to check the list they have made so far of people who died in that concert hall and soccer arena, then think a little harder before jumping to spread more hatred in this world. Unless one has personally found a remedy to the situation in Syria, or anywhere else there is bloodshed, they are not morally superior to those who feel more personal grief for a place they are familiar with than a place they are not. If someone has a peaceful solution, I wish they would share it with us. I am sure there are millions of people who would join to enact it. Many of us pray for peace in this world and act as consciously as we can to be sensitive to other people’s plights. We wait for our current leaders try to undo the mess the ones before them have made. We wait for them to make the best decisions and when it’s not working, we must wait some more until they try something different. We must voice our opinions and hope they listen to reason. We must keep peace and tolerance on an individual and local level. It has a domino effect. We must find assertive ways to try to change the minds of people who are racist and aggressive.

In the meanwhile, please don’t tell others they shouldn’t be upset or supportive of the people, in a place we feel an affinity for, after vicious bloodshed. How would it feel if my friend’s home and your family’s home were bombed and I told you that people shouldn’t be upset about your home because that would mean they don’t care about my friend’s home being bombed? That doesn’t even make sense! Peaceful people don’t want anyone in the world to suffer and there are many of us out there. I daresay we are the majority, despite what fear mongerers would like to believe and have you do the same. The anti-muslim sentiments need to stop as well. No one wants to feel like an outsider or be harassed because of their upbringing. I can’t believe that on this day someone smeared pages torn from the Koran with feces on the walls of a mosque in a suburb of my city. The interview on the radio was with a Muslim man who is American born and a member of that house of worship. He was beside himself with trying to figure out how to explain this obscenity to his children.

Sunday, November 22nd, 2015: Oh and here’s a good one…victim blaming. I read someone post about how the empires have colonized the rest of the world for centuries and now the European colonizers are “getting theirs”. Then as an after thought, a statement of sympathy for the people of Paris and those who died. Pardon me? How is it that any of the people who were harmed responsible for history? Talk about opportunism! Then there are politicians saying they brought it on themselves because they were listening to death metal. Apparently they have never heard of primal scream therapy or had a healthy thrashing about to release anger without hurting anyone.

Here’s the thing that needs to be said over and over, whoever is responsible for these atrocities can not be allowed to make us live in fear or turn against each other. United we stand, divided we fall. This is a fact, not a nationalistic cliché.

Monday, November 23rd, 2015: I think I can finally put this to rest after watching this Parisian man discuss the attacks with his young son in such a brave and kind way. Bon courage mes amis. Je t’aime toujours, peu importe ce que quelqu’un dit ou fait.

https://www.facebook.com/Upworthy/videos/1134197836621073/?fref=nf


Pop Austin International 2015 – Illumination

Fair Market on E. 5th Street in Austin hosted another enjoyable Pop International art fair October 23rd – 25th. Smartly designed to be quite different from their event last year’s, the theme of Illumination featuring a  installation work which utilized wide variety of lighting techniques including neon, video, colored bulbs and LEDs, black lights, fiber optics, and holograms.

******************************************************************************************************************************

Colour Code triptych

Variations of Hans Kotter’s color changing bar entitled Colour Code

 

Hans Kotter color changing illusion of tunnels in infinite space

Hans Kotter color changing illusion of tunnels in infinite space

***********************************************************************************************************************

Educator and PsiPlay partner Jerome Morrison uses a Kinect motion sensor to create interactive videos. At Illumination he created a video installation room with several television monitors and headphones for an intimate viewing experience and communion with an entity from the heart and soul of the broadcast universe.

******************************************************************************************************************************************

Adela Andea installation work

Adela Andea installation detail with spinning CD drives

Illumination-11

*******************************************************************************************

Lori Hersberger's Constellation

Lori Hersberger’s Constellation

Constellation-2

*******************************************************************************************

Hologram (Green/Orange) by James Turrell

********************************************************************

Todd Sanders neon Luchadores

Illumination-17

******************************************************************************************************************************

Nonotak art partners,  Noemi Schipfer and  Takami Nakamoto mesmerizing installation video clip:

https://vimeo.com/143813138

Nonotak (Noemi Schipfer and Takami Nakamoto) collaborative video installation work

Nonotak video installation still

Nonotak (Noemi Schipfer and Takami Nakamoto) collaborative video installation work

Nonotak (Noemi Schipfer and Takami Nakamoto) collaborative video installation work detail

Nonotak video installation still

Nonotak video installation still

 

 

 

 

 

Nonotak video installation still

************************************************************************************************************************************

 

Carlo Bernardini fiber optic strand installation

******************************************************************************************************************************************

Other pieces in this section included:

Lili Lakich’s “Soul to Soul: Portrait of Stevie Ray Vaughn” wall sculpture made from cut aluminum in the shape of the guitar hero himself, holding a real guitar, and animated with neon and crackling krypton gas filled tubes, which simulates lightning.

Cut metal symbols, such as the infinity loop, inset with colored light bulbs by Alyssa Taylor Wendt.

Neon and plastics sign by Matthew Lapenta.

Backlit, mixed media acrylic painted panels, reminiscent of a landscape, by Claudia Meyer.

*******************************************************************************************

Evan Voyles "White Noise"

Evan Voyles “White Noise”

**********************************************************************************************************************************

Bale Creek Allen showed cast metal tumbleweeds at the last Pop International show in Austin. This time around he made a row of right-side up and upside-down white neon crosses.

Lisa Schulte hung a massive wall with neon emoji symbols.

***********************************************************

Sharon Keshishian's neon landscape

Sharon Keshishian’s neon landscape

********************************************************************************************************************************

Jeongmoon Choi's "?" from UV lights and string

Jeongmoon Choi’s “?” from UV lights and string

Illumination-52

 


my austin favs for visitors and new comers

I’m always surprised when I meet someone who has been here for several months and still hasn’t been to any of the nature spots, bar / music venues, or longstanding restaurants that give Austin deep character. I’ve lived here for 20 years, so I feel pretty qualified to write this post. Most of these eateries have well seasoned grills, which really comes through in the food as a seasoned iron skillet does. Finally, they are all pretty damn cheap with generous helpings. It’s sad to learn that people only know about what is a corporate chain, trendy, and/or posh here. Not that some of those places aren’t really great too, I’m all for innovation, but my favorite locally owned spots are so down-to-earth, funky, and friendly, like the heart of Austin. I hope you love it as much as I do. I haven’t put any sushi places here because in my opinion, any of our sushi restaurants are better than most places in the world with wide variety and unique rolls. Music and art shows are day by day, check the Chronicle, but I threw a few long standing venues in here always feature Austin’s best bands. Enjoy! P.S. Please share with your friends. Thanks!

Food and Drink

Southside:

#1 All Time Favorite – Curra’s Grill Mother of Mex (not Tex-Mex) on Oltorf between I-35 and Congress. If the lot is full, park on Rebel St. This is one of the only places where I can order anything on the menu for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and feel as satisfied by it as my previous favorites. If you’re there for breakfast, you must get a Oaxacan (wa-ha-kan) coffee. Soft corn tortillas. Red corn tortillas. If you like smoky Scotches, get a Mezcal (smoky tequila) drink or try their avocado margaritas. Not many places serve those.

DSCN1358

2 – Polvo’s on South 1st. I crave their salsa bar. Three types. All delicious. My fav is always the Goliath Burrito with fish, but any filling is delicious and includes squash and other veggies.

3 – Guero’s on South Congress near the river. Delicious raspberry puree margaritas. I usually either get the El Presidente Burrito, but sometimes a Sante Fe enchilada, which comes with a fried egg on top.

4 – Matt’s El Rancho on South Lamar. Really great patio if it’s not too hot. Food’s good too.

5 – Maria’s Taco Xpress on South Lamar. Migas breakfast taco is the bomb! The only place in town that serves chimichurra salsa at their bar. It’s the one that is made primarily of cilantro and chilis, not liquid like most salsa. Funky style old school Austin setting.

6 – El Alma on Barton Springs. The only place good enough to stay in business in the tricky spot. They even have a parking lot across the street now. My drink of choice is the Chilanga, an very orangy margarita with chili salt on the rim. I go in when I just want a happy hour drink and appetizer of their jack and shrimp tostaditos that come with a side of escabeche (ay-ska-bay-chay) which is picked veggies. I don’t even normally like that stuff, but theirs is special.

7 – Habana Cuban on South Congress. Best Cuban sandwich. Best tres leches cake (with cinnamon). Theirs is not too dry or too wet. Great mojitos with the option for mango or coconut rum. Little straw cabana booths outside for when the weather is nice.

*****Can you tell I’m a Southside girl 😉

8 – 888 Asian (Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese) Their wide noodles with seafood is my fav. The scallops are especially impressive for this price. I’ve tried friends’ plates and those almost made me wish I’d ordered what they had. Of course, family style is also an option. Open very late although there might be a line.

9 – IM Thai. Sunset Valley (SW Austin). Ok this is one is fairly new, but they have the best som tam of anywhere in Austin. I lived in Bangkok for two years, so am picky about Thai food. Get the one on their House Specials menu and share it with your friend. That one comes with marinated meats and sticky rice.

10 – Conan’s Pizza on Stassney. Not only do they serve great pizza, especially the thick, but this location has an antique piano that you might be lucky to be accompanied on or even get to play.

11 – Square Rut Kava Bar on South Congress. Direct from the South Pacific pure kava beverage in a coconut shell cup. Different strains for different effects. Talk to the bartender. If you are sensitive to bitter, drink slowly and get them add flavoring such as chocolate caramel. There’s one on the Northside too if you stay there.

12 – Maudies on South Lamar. Nachos baked on thick chips.

All over town:

1 – Taco Shack. El Nino breakfast tacos (If you can handle it!) egg, chorizo, pickled jalapenos and cheese.

2 – Trudy’s. Again, all good for breakfast, lunch, dinner. Even their mix and match 3-5 vegetarian dishes are sooo good, especially considering they aren’t a veggie restaurant. Best broccoli ever.

3 – Chi’Lantro’s trucks (ck Twitter for the location that day) or storefront on S. Lamar. Ok, these guys are new school, but local and started in a trailer. Bulgogi fries w/ special sauce. Sick! In a good way though.

4 – East Side King trucks and storefront on S. Lamar. Also pretty up and coming, but is my favorite since my favorite Thai restaurant, Spin closed down, which Sway on S. 1st is similar to. Everything on the ESK menus, which vary by location, is delicious and inexpensive.

Downtown / Central / Campus Area:

1 – Ruby’s BBQ. Off of Guadalupe on 29th. They smoke it there in the back. Rich red sauce and great sides. Shiner and other brews by the bottle.

2 – Spider House on Fruth St. coffee shop with cool patio full of funky vintage furniture and decor. Rust and time. Outdoor stage with regular shows. Their venue around the corner from their parking lot also has regular concerts where all my favorite bands play.

3 – Pubs: Fado’s Irish food and pub on 4th Street and around the corner from it AND Gingerman on Lavaca with over 50 beers on tap. I preferred their old building, but the new one is similar.

East:

1 – El Azteca on E. 7th. Chipotle chicken

2 – Licha’s Cantina on E. 6th. Ok, pretty new establishment, but in a cute older house with patio covered in stencil art. One of the few places serving huitlacoche (hweet-la-co-chay), AKA corn truffle 🙂 Have you ever tried hibiscus flower quesadillas? Now is your chance! Wide selection of mezcal.

3 – Takoba on E.7th and Onion. Again, not really longstanding, but I have to rave about their mojito. They grind the mint up so you REALLY get the flavor of it. Smart. Delicious food. A little pricier than the others.

4 – El Chile on Manor Rd. Essentially the same as El Alma on the Southside.

5 – Mi Madres on Manor Rd. I heart their burritos with french fries inside. They are the only place that serves café de olla (cinnamon stick coffee in a clay mug).

6 – Hoover’s Southern Food on Manor Rd. I usually go here for New Year’s Eve to get my lucky black eyed peas. Lot’s of other delicious down home style offerings though.

7 – Blue Dahlia French Cuisine on E. 11th. In my opinion, moules et frites (mussels and fries) and ratatouille are their specialties. Pretty garden dining.

8 – Juan in a Million on E Cesar Chavez. Famous for their Don Juan breakfast taco. No one makes one like this. Semi mashed potato, cheese, egg, and crumbled crispy bacon.

North:

1 – Fonda San Miguel. Gorgeous interior Mexican decor. You know colored tiles, old carved wood furniture, lots of plants. Wonderful food. Sunday brunch extravaganza.

2 – Korea House on Anderson Lane. Most generous variety of banchan (tiny appetizer bowls). A large menu of sushi options. If you want, you can take a table with a galbi grill in the center. There you can prepare the meats as is popular in Korea.

*Bonus: Terra Toys is super close in case you want to go in and play a bit.

3 – Din Ho on 183. Chinese spot with delicious seafood. BBQ pork on sticky buns. Dim Sum.

Vegetarian only:

Veggie Heaven; Mother’s (still my favorite veggie burger in town); Casa de Luz – macrobiotic in a lovely setting; See Trudy’s write up above; Mr. Natural on South Lamar or E. Cesar Chavez

———————————————————————————————————————

Music and Drinks

1 – Flamingo Cantina on 6th Street. The only place on Dirty 6th that I frequent regularly. World, Soul, and Reggae music in a funky space with great outside upper deck overlooking the stage.

2 – Sahara Lounge. Far NE. Worth the drive. Always bumpin’ world music. Latin, African, Jamaican, etc. etc. in a shack filled with old African instruments and jazz, reggae, and world music concert posters and photos. A large backyard including lots of picnic tables. Signature drink: Sahara Slant ginger and cinnamon buzz.

3 – Whip In on S.IH35 access road between Riverside and Oltorf. Vintage Indian decor in the stage area for local acts. Wooden booths. 2nd outside patio and stage. Beer and wine bar. Inexpensive home style Indian food.

4 – Continental Club / The Gallery (upstairs) AND C-Boys Heart and Soul both on South Congress. Always primo acts.

5 – Hole in the Wall on the Drag (Guadelupe across from UT campus). Many talented bands got their start here because the owners were willing to take a chance on them. Well known musicians have played here too though. Now East Side Kings, one of our best Thai food vendors, is sharing the space with them.

6 – Waterloo Records on South Lamar. I hadn’t added this at first bcz I thought it didn’t need to be mentioned. Then I heard someone say they were going to order a CD online of a local band bcz they didn’t know this longtime music vendor would have it. Call first. If they don’t have it, they will get it fast and call you. Support local. Four point five rows of vinyl. Lots of used CDs. Videos. Listening stations. In store mini concerts. Toys. Books. Gear. This place kicks ass.

7 – Book People on South Lamar. Ok some books are cheaper online, but spending time browsing a great book / magazine store like this is just plain old fun. It’s two stories. Coffee shop. Gifts and cards. In store author lectures / book signings.

8 – Elephant Room under Congress. Underground jazz bar. Always featuring great acts. Brannen Temple and Ephraim Owens are the ultra talented stars of this scene.

9 – Half Step on Rainey Street (South Central). Classy newish place in an old Rainey Street house with comfy booths. The bartenders put on an entertaining drink making show, sometimes those big square ice cubes. Kind of trendy drink menu, but low key. Great patio. Highly talented bands like improv funk / soul / jazz crew Canned Beets playing on Wednesday nights and teen blues act The Peterson Brothers on Thursdays.

10 – Russia House on E. 5th St. I haven’t eaten there yet, but I heard it’s good. I have sampled from their wall of flavored vodkas though. It’s like digging into a bag of Jelly Bellies. Name the flavor and they’ve infused their vodka jars. Bands play on some nights.

11 – Vortex Repertory Theater on E. Manor Rd. All original productions including fantasy, fairy tales, hip hop, sky dancers in this intimate space. The Butterfly Bar is attached. There is a courtyard of picnic tables to enjoy the weather and eat a meal from one of their trailers serving Italian and ?

12 – Skylark Lounge on Airport. East Austin Soul. Originale patio.

13 – Ginny’s Little Longhorn Saloon on Burnet. Feels like a country shack inside. Friendly staff. Tiny stage with talented country acts. Fiddlin’. Chicken Shit Bingo on some Sundays.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Nature Parks

(besides Zilker Park, Botanical Garden, and Barton Springs)

1 – Mayfield Park is a centrally located. Lovely water ponds and peacocks amongst huge palm trees. There is a walking trail if you want to go down to the water.

*Bonus: Laguna Gloria is right there next to it. This is an old, well maintained villa converted into art museum. Walking trail to the left has my all time favorite climbing tree in the world! You will see it. There is a bench underneath to help petite people like me get up.

2 – Greenbelt secret mini waterfalls trail! The Greenbelt goes all around town as the name suggests, but I usually love to enter through parking lot of Retreat at Barton Creek Apts. on S. Lamar Blvd. Park in a visitors spot by the office / pool. To the right of those, you will see a space between the back and side buildings where a bamboo grove stands. To the left of the grove there is a trail going all the way down to the river. Very private.

3 – Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center in very Southwest Austin. Best in spring. Go up the tower to see the fields or walk around the gardens and trails. Vast blankets of color.

4 – McKinney Falls State Park is in near SE Austin.

5 – If you have time to get out of town, Enchanted Rock! Pink granite mounds. Ancient Native American sacred place. If you are sensitive, you can feel the magic. I love going around Thanksgiving when the leaves are turned. If you climb up the rock (it’s pretty steep, but if you have strong legs or a walking stick, you can do it!), you get a beautiful vista view of the autumn trees. It’s fun in the spring too though when the wildflowers are blooming. I’ve seen roadrunners and an armadillo there.

———————————————————————————————————————

Art Galleries

(besides downtown – Mexicarte, The Contemporary, The Blanton)

1 – Women & Their Work on Lavaca. Super cool and fun. A sidewall in foyer holds big square brochures of past exhibits for several years. Gift shop with local artisan jewelry, books, and unique gifts. Open Mon-Sat business hours.

2 – Canopy art complex on Springdale houses Big Medium, Co-Lab, Art.Science.Gallery, a coffee shop, high quality craftwork shops, and studios. Ck hours before going.

3 – Laguna Gloria (see Mayfield Park above)

4 – grayDUCK on E. Cesar Chavez. From what I’ve seen is always showing top quality Austin artist’s work.

5 – Dougherty Arts Center Gallery on Barton Springs. This humble place often gets overlooked because although it has been promised funding for a face lift after winning votes in the bond election twice, it has never gotten it. It has so much heart. Please drop in. Community or two person shows exhibit here. Always lovely. Check the theater schedule for performances.

———————————————————————————————————————

Place to stay next time you’re in town in group of people

www.LoftHouseAustin.com

Contemporary architecture with Balinese decor. Fresh and gorgeous. Filled with quirky artwork. Lush gardens. Pool. Firepit. Screened in patio with swings. Super nice proprietor. Currently I am the groundskeeper here.


New York City, Chelsea District, January 2015

All images copyright © 2014 by Stephanie Reid

Click any image below to enlarge

To view the area from a different angle, take a walk on the Chelsea High Line, an elevated railroad track that has been converted into a boardwalk and garden.

If you’re a foodie, be sure to check out the Chelsea Market which holds a wide array of gourmet restaurants, a fresh spice vendor, books, and sometimes an arts and crafts bazaar inside a beautifully restored National Biscuit Company factory. This is also where The Food Network has its offices.

 

Also recommended is the cozy Co Pane pizza serving 17 unique, wood-fired combos.

http://www.co-pane.com/index.php

Fashionistas! Check out the Comme des Garçons shop. It’s like being in a toyshop elf’s closet. Besides pointy shoes, apparel becomes outrageously fun wearable sculpture in here.

CAM01625

 

Chelsea Gallery Tour Favs:

Murray Guy Gallery, Lucy Skaer’s exhibit Sticks and Stones takes two forms cut from a dissected mahogany tree and duplicates each in a variety of materials. This successful interpretation of belonging to a group with similarities while retaining individuality gives new, exciting meaning to sculpture.

Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, Peggy Preheim’s exhibit Archipelago combines nostalgic pencil drawings of people in found photos with pressed leaves or other natural materials such as feathers and fur. The delicate illustrations ask us to imagine stories of interaction between gentle humans and nature.

 

Gagosian Gallery, Takashi Murakami’s exhibit In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow is exhilarating in its scale and use of cutting edge materials. Taking queue, as Murakami does, from graphic design precious metals sheets are embossed with skulls then over painted with acrylic landscapes and characters straight from a comic book and screened designs of acidic suns. Thick glossy lacquers embedded with glitter enhance the dimensional quality of the works where mandalas of Buddhist masters beckon neophytes to walk the thin line between the land of living and dead, their insane gestures and eyes give warning of what we will experience there. Gigantic guardian sculptures guard the gates of Nirvana and fight those who try to enter before they are well prepared. The gorgeous scent of ancient wood permeates the front gallery which is entered through a replica of a shinto shrine.

 

303 Gallery, Mike Nelson’s exhibit Gang of Seven takes found objects collected on his tour of the west coast of the United States and Canada and turns them into imaginative and sometimes disturbing sculpture.


New York City, MoMA, January 10, 2015

During the winter residency for my grad school MFA program, I had the pleasure of visiting several places that I love in New York. In this post, I will share some of the highlights of my first stop, the Museum of Modern Art.

MoMa Courtyard in the Snow

*Henri Matisse Cutouts show. Excellent curation. For those of you are less familiar with art history, the painter Matisse became disabled as he aged and was confined to a wheelchair. This was when he produced a new phase of works from collaged paper cutouts. With the help of his lovely assistants, he was able to create monumental murals and even chapel stained glass designs.

Enter the exhibit:  A room of playful works commissioned by Verve Magazine. The circus themes and flowing shapes of the Icarus myth are prevalent. A quote from the artist elucidates his experience making those cutouts, “You have no idea how, during the cutout paper period, the sensation of flight which emanated forms helped me better to adjust my hand when it used scissors…It’s a kind of linear and graphic equivalence to the sensation of flight.”

Next: A room meant to mimic his studio with mockups, paper samples, and photos of him, scissors in hand surrounded by scraps of paper which had fallen to the ground – negative spaces of shapes he had cut. Two long walls hold examples of his “Oceania” series which were printed into wallpaper – sandy beige backgrounds with all white cutouts of seagulls, flora and fauna of the waters.

A darker room: Watch a film of Matisse working with an assistant to design vestments (cloaks) for the Chapelle du Rosaire de Vence. Stained glass sections are lit from behind. *In the gift shop I purchased holiday cards with tinted acetate covers to look like one the chapel windows maquettes, La Nuit de Noël (Christmas Night).

The monumental works: The highlights in the last few rooms are works inspired by Islamic art such as Large Decoration with Masks which is approximately 11′ x 32′. You will also see the joyful, immersive work The Parakeet and the Mermaid, which is approximately 11’ x 25’ and meant to give the sensation of being in a garden. It was completed towards the end of his life when he was no longer to enjoy his own garden as he once had.

Souvenir: Amongst prints and lengthy books about the artist’s life and career, I found a gem produced by MoMa who commissioned a cutout artist to create illustrations about Matisse and his inspiration from nature and his garden. By printing it on matte surface paper, the book better represents his cutouts, especially in the bonus gatefold pages of his works.

http://www.momastore.org/museum/moma/ProductDisplay_Matisses-Garden-Childrens-Book_10451_10001_192106_-1_26683_11486

………………………………………………..

*In the contemporary art gallery, adjacent the Matisse Cutouts, I discovered a contemporary artist whose work I would like to share here. Her name is Kerstin Brätsch. These works are large scale oil on paper:

…………………………………………………

*A choice selection from the permanent collection of modern masters was on display. They are hard to capture in photos, especially when they are behind glass and A Starry Night and The Persistence of Memory are now. Sadly, some of the life has been sucked out of them by this addition, which was not there the last time I saw those pieces on tour. I was not in awe of the vortex pulling me in as I had been when Van Gogh’s masterpiece was on view in Houston. This is what happens when people insist on touching the art or using flash! Luckily the Guggenheim had some of his work out (sans glass) and I got a taste of that vibrance on this visit.  Less famous, but not less important than the above mentioned paintings, my favorite Matisse oil, Goldfish and Palette, was on view as a nice counterpart to the cutouts exhibit. Other pieces I adore by Léger, Brancusi (Mademoiselle Pogany sculpture below), Cornell, Picasso, and Klimt were present as well.

  ……………………………………………………..

*In the design section, Tomáš Gabzdil Libertinya presented a vessel slowly made by bees using a “vase-shaped scaffold” for a beehive which was removed to reveal the waxen vase seen here:

……………………………………………

 

*Another special exhibit was a retrospective, entitled The Heart is Not a Metaphor, of the sculptor Robert Gober‘s work. Seemingly irreverent with its wallpaper of penis and vagina line art, other rooms papered like a fall forest scene with objects protruding out of wax torsos and crotches coming out from the bottoms of walls , and the like, his work has a serious tone which requires us to think of domesticity, sexuality, and religion more closely. Within the vast, sparse rooms, I felt less claustrophobic than I normally do when thinking of a permanent home. Sexuality felt like an ordinary and mundane activity that might take a turn for the bizarre if one becomes too familiar with it. A sinister underbelly is exposed inside of a fireplace full of girls disembodies legs, pink Mary Jane shoes and bobby socks intact. A nearby installation of a large vintage suitcase had its bottom cutout to accommodate a sewage grate installed into the gallery floor where below a softly lit scene of rocks and water plants swayed in flowing water and bubbles. This somehow lessened the blow of the previous difficult subject matter by offering an escape for the mind before exiting the show. The denouement of his story played out gently with an easy chair covered in custom designed fabric of pink, yellow, and blue florals and birds and other digestible fare.

……………………………………………..

*Soul of the Underground, an exhibit featuring works by Jean DuBuffet, contained prints, paintings, and sculptures made from dirt, sticks, aluminum foil, grass, and other common materials used in unexpected ways to evoke gritty, playful, and sometimes shamanistic imagery as antithesis of la bourgeoisie. In the third image below, Landscape with Bulldog, random objects were inked, pressed, and then reassembled to create the final composition.

Le Magicien


Landscape with Bulldog …………………………………..

*Modern Photographs from the Thomas Walther Collection 1909-1949 reminded me of the fun and experimentation I had when I started taking black and white photos in the 80’s. The surprise revealed on paper in the darkroom is unparalleled by digital photography and I look forward to working in one again someday. At the height of film photography we can see here that playing with light, shadow, form, and perspective are emphasized when color is taken out of the equation. The luxurious platinum, palladium, and silver surfaces reminded me of a treasure box. This is truly an art form that has been lost, but many young people are recognizing this and word has it that shuttered analog photo departments are being revived around the country. This news has helped relieve some of my melancholy around the matter. For a virtual tour, visit the MoMa page below:

http://www.moma.org/interactives/objectphoto/#gallery?dateBegin=1900&dateEnd=1950&objectsSelected=84072

…………………………………………

*Finally, I would like to give mention to the Making Music Modern: Design for Ear and Eye section which showcased vintage stereo equipment, posters, and album art. Especially inspiring to me is this print by Koichi Sato for New Music Media and this stereo with swinging, detachable speakers by artist Mario Bellini and Manufactured by Brionvega S.p.A., Italy.

Koichi Sato New Music Media

……………………………………….

*To see what is on showing at MoMa for during your next visit to Manhattan, check their calendar:

http://www.moma.org/visit/calendar/exhibitions/


Berlin Urban Art and Architecture

Single click thumbnails to enlarge and view as slideshow. All images copyright © 2014 by Stephanie Reid


Transart Institute Course Sampler – World as Sculpture, Wild Urbanity, and Double Lens

All images copyright © 2014 by Stephanie Reid

The Transart Institute for Creative Research is a low residency school offering three Summer residencies in Berlin, two Winter residencies in New York City, and virtual meetups in between. My studies started in Berlin during this three-week residency, which was incredibly fast-paced, challenging, and rewarding. Workshops took place at Uferstudios in the Wedding district. The school is interdisciplinary, but more topical than technique based. It is expected that technique is already honed or can be self-guided. This allows the students to choose courses that they feel will help them expand the content of their praxis. PhD and MFA students attended the workshops together and work in a wide range of mediums, so that dancers, painters, sculptors, photographers, and others can grow from watching each others’ processes. At the bottom of this post, I have given an overview of the workshops I attended. I am primarily a photography and film maker, but I took classes on expanding the definition of sculpture, nature in the city, and film. My studio advisors was a performance artist / film maker. My research advisor was a photography curator / writer.

The classes typically ran from 9AM-6 PM, then students and staff reconvened at 7:00 for an hour and half presentation session. For these, the student body split into two rooms where three students gave a 15-minute overview of their work and goals for their studies, followed by a ten minute Q&A Session. In addition, each Friday morning, practicing professional artists and curators from around the world would give a 7-minute presentation of their work (Pecha Kucha). Afterwards, groups of eight students would go with one of the presenters to get feedback on their project plan.

On the weekends, gallery and studio tours, and vernissages of student exhibits around Berlin took place. To learn more about those events, see my other posts:

https://haikuflash.wordpress.com/2014/09/21/berlin-gallery-and-studio-tour-summer-2014/

https://haikuflash.wordpress.com/2014/09/22/mila-kunst-and-linder-project-transart-institute-mfa-and-phd-student-works-summer-2014/

https://haikuflash.wordpress.com/2014/09/21/somos-gallery-berlin-open-frame-popup-show-august-2-2014/

studio courtyard

Uferstudios courtyard facing NW. The complex used to be a rail yard for horse drawn carriage rail, then eventually a depot for electric street cars and cable cars. The architect, Jean Krämer, designed them using using a combination of expressionist and Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity, or without ornamentation) styles.

studio courtyard2

Uferstudios courtyard facing SE.

Michael Bowdidge’s, The World as Sculpture, course for MFA and Certificate students

Our instructor also teaches at the University of Glasgow. Inspired by the book The World as Sculpture: The Changing Status of Sculpture from the Renaissance to the Present Day by James Hall, Mr. Bowdidge exposed our  class to methods of making our work more sculptural. The course was exciting and felt very productive. By default, we received a thorough survey of the history of sculpture. Not only did the professor bring examples for each discussion, but asked us to also bring images and physical work to enhance the conversation. The following examples of some of the reading assignments and activities we did in the four day course.

 DAY ONE:

1) Discuss reading assignment : Sculpture and the sculptural by Erik Koed

2) Work with a partner to combine two objects together in as many ways possible. Photograph the different iterations. Several minutes into the exercise, classmate and dancer, Jeca Rodriguez suggested giving a theme to the juxtapositions such as to make one the oppressor and the other the oppressed. My partner Claire Elizabeth Barratt, also a dancer, and I came up with over 20 ways to combine her hand with my umbrella.

3) Bring an example of artwork that is not sculpture but has something sculptural about it. I brought the links to Gabriel Dawe’s string installations:

Gabriel Dawe's plexus no. 5

Gabriel Dawe’s plexus no. 5

Gabriel Dawe's plexus no. 8

Gabriel Dawe’s plexus no. 8

Gabriel Dawe's relic from plexus no. 4

Gabriel Dawe’s relic from plexus no. 4

4) Select an artwork from the previous class discussion and make a piece inspired by it that is in some way sculptural.

  Classmate Nethery Wylie shared Laleh Mehran’s installation Entropic Order http://www.lalehmehran.com/Entropic-Order, in which a programmed machine moves around a track on the ceiling, all the while, dragging a pendulum with it to draw traditional Islamic patterns in black “sand” on the floor. A motion detector senses people entering the room and moving about, which disrupts the action of the pendulum so that the perfection of its efforts is thwarted. Straight lines become wavy, shaky, and distorted. Therefore, this artwork functions as a way to comment on the futility of attempting to enforce a dogma, religious or not, because once human interaction comes into play, the static nature of “rules” is replaced by dynamic forces. It also reflects the instability of the Middle East.

  I chose to do an exercise that was both subtractive and additive at the same time. I imagined adding spices commonly used in Persian cooking – paprika, cinnamon, and cumin to “draw” outlines to the negative space in the designs. Then using a piece of paper covered with double sided sticky graphics film to do a “rubbing”. What would hopefully remain on the adhesive tape would be an impression of the design from its sand and spices. The red and brown hues represent spilled blood of those who suffered within a turbulent and violent landscape. By transferring the image onto the graphics tape, the new image can also represent those who have migrated to flee the regime. They are only able to take a fraction of their culture with them. I have made sculptural work by using additive (spices), subtractive (taking away with the tape), and replicatative (a copy of the original design) steps. It was not unlike forming a sand mandala, and the same ideas of displacement and lost culture expressed in my response to her could be said for Tibetans and Native Americans who make sand drawings that are wiped away after their completion.

photo taken during the process of filling in the gaps of Mehran’s design with paprika

paprika and black “sand”

transfer of paprika and black “sand” to another surface

DAY TWO: Additive processes. Discussions of Modeling vs. Assembling.

1) Bring a sculptural artwork you have made but feel is not quite complete, then discuss how to make it more sculptural using modeling. I had previously made a set mixed CDs for a Leo friend in Los Angeles. I titled the compilations, The Moon and a Lantern for more mellow tracks and The Sun and a Lion for more upbeat tracks. The compilation titles were named specifically after the cover art illustrations I drew for them, using scribbled circles for the heavenly orbs and the origami folding line pattern for the object not seen in the drawing, but referenced in the title (lantern and lion). To see those images, visit: https://haikuflash.photoshelter.com/gallery-image/Other-Illustration-and-Mixed-Media/G0000xdw0IFgWFaE/I0000qtO9L770Cqw/C00000PRsirHYLFo

and

https://haikuflash.photoshelter.com/gallery-image/Other-Illustration-and-Mixed-Media/G0000xdw0IFgWFaE/I0000v75gIs.daRA/C00000PRsirHYLFo

  Along the same lines, I created this illustration created for a world music compilation I also selected the songs for. I infer three-dimensionality by layering origami fold lines for a pine tree on top of the world map image. In response to the exercise, I stated that to make it more sculptural, I would fold (model) the illustration into its intended shape. The pine tree can then be set upon the circular song list that normally lies under the CD, to transform from packaging design to sculptural artwork.

CD close The Earth and a Pine Tree 150dpi OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

2) Assemblage is a term used by curator William Seitz for a MOMA show in 1961, called “That Art of Assemblage”, featured works by Duchamp, Schwitters, Cornell and others who combined things like trinkets, household objects, newspaper clippings, and train tickets to create compositions, combined with or without traditional mediums like paint. Seitz felt the term was more descriptive than “collage” for that particular body of work.

Reading assignment: Assemblage by George Marcus and Erkan Saka.                                                                                                             

Summary: Assemblage as a way to talk about chaos of modern world despite the daily structure which most of us live by. There are many possible ways to approach investigation into realms beyond clearly defined boundaries. Discourse on temporary societies, a self-reflective description of an object, or a stage in a process are all examples of how assemblage can be used to explain intangible concepts. The ability to materialize such abstract ideas has had an influence on areas outside of art such as anthropological research. Marcus and Saka credit the success of the integration of post-structuralist ideas into social sciences to analytically detailed writings by theorists Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. This essay goes on to quote several social scientists who discuss how their work has been influenced by the theories of Deleuze and Guattari.

Finally, the writing expresses urgency that assemblage be handled carefully as to not become too structural or it runs the risk of losing it’s ephemeral quality. It is noted that during our current phase of globalization and rapid technological advancements, which are creating new behaviors in society, assemblage has a great deal of material to refer to and in a unique way from its original use in the early to mid 20th century.

3) Create an artwork based on Guattari and Deleuze’s philosophy, sometimes called “assemblage theory”. In layman’s terms this process refers to the laying out, arranging, and piecing together of components. In theoretical terms these are called or coding, stratification, and territorialization. Many conceptual artists develop their works by decoding, then recoding / deterritorializing, then reterritorializing these relationships, so that the stratification of the subjects in the assemblage is likely to change. So there is an analysis of the aspects (coding) of each component in a relationship and how those aspects create categorization (territorializing) of the subjects, which in turn cause them to be organized (stratified) in such a way. The goal of a contemporary artist working inside this loosely knit framework is essentially to recontextualize the subjects and present them in a new way that opens up discussion about the previously coding, territory, and stratification of the subjects. By causing the audience to think about the new assemblage of components, it opens up the reality that what we thought to be static has other possible states of being and/or meaning.

  For this exercise, I thought about the process of making and consuming coffee. The goal of coffee drinkers is to be more awake and sharp thinking. Therefore, I coffee stained a square piece of paper, making it reminiscent of an unbleached coffee filter, and folded it into a crystal/diamond shape. Further discussion was spurred regarding the fortune made by coffee moguls who do not practice fair trade and how the diamond is not “clear”. It is brown, or “muddy” representing the possible side effects of drinking coffee vs. other types of beverages such as matcha tea, herbal supplements, or physical practices which render us more alert such as yoga, improving our diets, or simply getting more sleep. It also speaks to sugar addiction, which is often the main reason people drink coffee – to get their dose of sugar and milk.

4) In the vein of Allan Kaprow’s 1967 installation “Yard”, which was a room of tires for people to interact with by jumping through, sitting on, standing on, or even throwing them, the class did a performative installation. First we each passed a piece of paper around that we had written one word that reminded us of the Transart summer residency, and then passed it to the person next to us until everyone had written their word on our paper. We chanted the following list in rounds during the performance: succinct, iconoclast, join, concepts, humid, tsunami, pleasure, becoming, awake, microcosm, fluid, flux, coffee, turnip, tinted, sprudel. To view the performance, visit: https://vimeo.com/106896282

DAY THREE: Subtractive processes. Carving, deleting (what this means in the digital vs. analog world), erasing

1) Inspired by Rauschenberg’s “Erased de Kooning” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGRNQER16Do), bring an artwork you have made and are willing to allow a fellow student to practice a subtractive technique on. After receiving each artwork, we parted for about 45 mins. then reconvened for our destructive surprise.

I built a diorama landscape study and my partner was the dancer, Jeca Rodriguez, who is originally from Puerto Rico. She turned my diorama into a performance! She was really nervous to do her idea, but I assured her whatever she wanted to do was okay. She took the assemblage outside and mangled it something fierce to make it look like her home after a hurricane. Then she had everyone take turns, like the community on her island, to try to repair a little bit at a time. It was really touching and even brought a tear to my eye.

 

diorama study

Photos below taken by Michael Bowdidge.

destruction Jaye Gabriela2 Clare Ana gabe recovery

  The piece I was given to deconstruct was a silk scarf by artist, Dana Zurzolo, who silkscreens guns into clothing as a way to prompt conversations about guns in America. There are magazines and catalogues about guns with cover photos clearly intending to make them look “sexy”. I cutout machine gun spray shapes resembling those found in comic books, drew hearts, blood, and tears in glitter pens, then also cutout bullet holes in the heart. Because this clothing was meant to appeal to a woman, just as hot chicks with guns are supposed to make women feel empowered, or appeal to the violent urges of machismo in either sex, I changed the text about a school shooting that was printed on the scarf to read as if the atrocity was made by a woman. The text was also changed to draw attention to the language of guns and their reference to female body parts.

subractive and additive

2) Inspired by John Cage’s 4”33, bring ‘nothing’ to class, but in a meaningful way that can be justified with regard to size / quantity / duration. The best example was someone shining a projector’s light on the screen with no image or text.

DAY FOUR: Replicative processes. Copying, casting, copying, sampling

1) Replicate something in the nearby surroundings.

Bullet Wounds and Fissures

a pitted, fissured, and chipped brick wall

The crumbling wall

pencil rubbing, razor cut, and punctured paper

2) Replicate another artist’s work without directly copying it. Taking a que from Lawrence Yuxweluptun’s painting below, I sketched a still from a scene in a short film I am making.  In the video, my friend Laura is dancing in front of a graffiti wall, but in the drawing, I started to draw the graffiti on her body.

Walking in the Spirit World

Walking in the Spirit World by Lawrence Yuxweluptun

Laura

graffiti skin

unfinished sketch

3) Reading: The Precession of Simulacra by Baudrillard, which gave the four phases of abstracting an original object as the reflection of a basic reality, the masking and/or perversion of a reality, the masking of the absence of a basic reality, and the absence of any relation to reality.

4) Work from an image/sound/clip/movement and find ways to replicate it which allow you to traverse or reference the four phases of simulacra. The scan of the image I created will not translate well here. There are aspects of the piece that are dependent on moving around it and reflective light that have to be experience in person.

************************************************************************************

Caroline Koebel’s, Wild Urbanity, course for MFA and Certificate students

Inspired by her sighting of wild foxes in Berlin, Ms. Koebel designed a course around combing art with nature in the city.

1) discussion of Joseph Bueys hare and wolf performances

2) viewing of the film “A Rabbit in Berlin”

3) readings from Darwin, da Vinci, and the thoroughly enjoyable The Forest Unseen: A Year’s Watch in Nature by David George Haskell

4) Tour of the archives of the Naturkundmuseum. Here are some of the horrifying and fascinating remnants from the days of when humans had no qualms with capturing vast numbers of animals for research. Seeing Charles Darwin’s signature in one of his journals; blown glass sculptures of medusozoa and other small flowery looking sea creatures; rooms of skulls, skeletons, horns, and taxidermied animals, in cardboard boxes, some with holes cut in the side so that stiff legs of a fast running feline can poke through; plastic bags of bats; weight lifting a fossilized dinosaur bone that must have been about 20 lbs. although only 1.5 ft; a 4 ft long narwhal tooth; a glass room displaying fish, snakes, and foxes preserved in jars of alcohol.

 

tubes of dead snakes

Images from the archive cannot be made public, but I took these photos in the public area.

5) lectures by scientists who study the wild boar and fox population in Berlin. FUN FACTS! Some of the boars have been seen waiting at the traffic lights, for cars to stop, before crossing the street. They are notoriously difficult for hunters to find in the woods as well, but because the critters like to dig up people’s lawns for bugs, many have been shot down.

 

wild boars 150

I found this postcard by Tatiana Witte in a shop the day before I left Berlin.

6) an excursion in the city to create work in response to nature found there. I’m a fan of all corvids, so admired these beautiful, monochromatic Hooded Crows since I arrived in Berlin. 

crows on train rail crows staring at pizza

Hooded Crows eat Pizza on the Tram tracks

grey and black Hooded Crows eat Pizza on the Tram tracks

stump study3 stump study5stump study8

stump study6

tiny green tree beetle tears

tiny green tree beetle tears

******************************************************************************************* 

Anna Faroqhi’s, Double Lens, film essay workshop for MFA and Certificate students

We weren’t sure if this class were going to be able to take place. Originally, the instructor was scheduled to be Harun Farocki, the prolific German filmmaker known for experimental documentary short films. Our course was cancelled when it was revealed that he had passed away. Then after a week or so delay, we were informed that his daughter, Anna who is also a filmmaker, would be teaching us in his stead. She informed us that The Hamburger Bahnhof Museum happened to have several of Harun’s politically charged films, Serious Games, Inextinguishable Fire, The Creators of the Shopping Worlds, and Workers Leaving the Factory, installed into an exhibition. Several of us went to view it as a way to learn more about him and to pay our respects.

2) Screening and discussion of several historial film essays: “Ghosts for Breakfast” by Hanz Richter; “11 Variations on Rain” by Joris Ivens; “Night and Fog” by Alain Resnais; “Les Mains Négatives” by Marguerite Duras; and “Serious Games” by Harun Farocki, the instructor’s recently deceased father.

3) Each student was given a line from the German Expressionist poet, Jakob van Hoddis, to film a 30 second to three minute clip to be edited together. Some lines are missing from the film or slightly altered to suit the artists. My line was, “Into the tender green of the trees”, which starts at 10:22 here: https://vimeo.com/106867894

In the Morning
A strong wind sprang upwards,
Opens the bloody gates of iron heaven,
Beats on the towers.
Brightly ringing loud and sinuous over the brazen plane of the city.
The sooty morning sun. Thundering trains on dams.
Golden angel-ploughs plow through the clouds.
Strong wind over the pale city.
Steamboats and cranes awaken by the dirty, flowing stream.
The bells of the weathered cathedral beat sullenly.
You see many women and girls going to work.
In the pale light. Wild from the night. Their skirts flutter.
Limbs made for love.
Into the machine and tedious labor.
Look into the tender light.
Into the tender green of the trees.
Listen! The sparrow is crying out.
And outside, in the wild fields,
larks are singing.


Mila Kunst and Lindner Project – Transart Institute – MFA and PhD Student Works – Summer 2014

Selected works from Mila Kunst Intermezzo #1

photography by Gabriela Gusmao

photographic works by Gabriela Gusmão

beautiful wooden floor inlay at Mila Kunst Gallery

Sylvia Adamcik2

photographic work by Sylvia Adamcik addressing our disjointed experience of the natural world

Sylvia Adamcik1

photographic work by Sylvia Adamcik

Drawing by Julia Hyde inspired by La Forêt de Soignes (The Healing Forest) in Belgium.

landscape painting by Christopher Huck

Selected works from Mila Kunst Intermezzo #3

sculpture by Lisa Osborn

sculpture by Lisa Osborn

Laurel Terlesky4

Installation (sound, smoke, video, and vinyl cutout walkway walls) by Laurel Terlesky. Several women poignantly discuss the loss of their mothers and the gradual process of being able to grasp the finality of her passing away. For example, One woman remembers that took her two months to accept the fact that her mother was not just on vacation.

Laurel Terlesky6

Installation (sound, smoke, video, and vinyl cutout walkway walls) by Laurel Terlesky

Laurel Terlesky8

Installation (sound, smoke, video, and vinyl cutout walkway walls) by Laurel Terlesky

Laurel Terlesky7

Installation (sound, smoke, video, and vinyl cutout walkway walls) by Laurel Terlesky

**********

Selected works from

Lindner Project Space

July 27, 2014

Lindner Project courtyard

Lindner Project Courtyard

Jamie Hamilton install

Jamie Hamilton book installation documenting his learning how to tightrope walk in New Mexico

Mikkel Niemann1

film installation by Mikkel Niemann. This film diptych explores man’s competition with nature. On the left we see the artist fighting with his opponent. On the right, he sits in an outdoor installation and films periodically over a period of time so that the imposition he has created in the environment is eventually completely overcome by the elements which tear away at the homey looking wallpaper and wild animals who come and eat his apples.

Mikkel Niemann2

Mikkel Niemann3

Lindner basement

remnants from a performance installation by Rosina Ivanova. The artist practiced a feat of strength and endurance by holding up weights, with both arms outstretched to her sides, for a long period of time. Occasionally, she rings an encouraging bell. She likens the experience to the efforts of travel and immigration. All the while, a boat travels through the water on the screen behind her to emphasize the connection.

Rosinas wts

Selected works from Lindner Project Space

Alternative Maternals

August 9th, 2014

a beautiful dance performance with a rocking chair about motherhood by Jeca Rodriguez

amongst other objects, book artist and Columbia College professor, Miriam Schaer displayed throughout the gallery, baby clothes embroidered with stinging quotes such as, “Your child is the best art work you have ever made. You don’t need to make any other art,” and “Your not having children is the biggest disappointment of our life. These clothes were put on baby dolls and photographed for her book, “The Presence of Their Absence”. To see more of her work, visit: http://miriamschaer.com/

a haunting performance, “The Maternal Line” by Valerie Walkerdine which is about learning to speak with ghosts by allowing them to have a way to speak, even if they do not exist, their memory still exists within us. Her work posits how art can help us what is being transmitted to us. How can we feel with the other as the womb conveys sound? She often uses threes in her work, for example a performance will begin with 1) a lost spirit not at peace,  2) entering the underworld as a half-being, 3) release. Her opening to this performance was to slowly walk through the gallery towards the winding staircase leading to the basement, all the while singing solemn atavistic sounds similar to Lisa Gerrard from Dead Can Dance. When she reaches the ground floor, a projection of close ups of dancers moving around on the ground is screened behind her. Suddenly, the image is flipped to look like they are crawling around on the ceiling. Valerie sings and shouts eerily as if in turmoil. A new scene forms and the focus is on a torso shot of a young woman in a red leotard being pushed back and forth between other dancers in black. They gradually work her into a frenzy until Valerie screams and pleads for it to STOP! STOP! The scene fades away into white with a blurred figure dancing there.  Now in a white leotard, Valerie dances in front of the screen, which creates strange juxtapositions between her brightly illuminated limbs and her silhouette. The mood lifts as she boisterously sings, a song about her Chiquita being sweeta, singing to her burro and how people will think her a fool.  She stated that she uses songs that are important to her mother and grandmother in her works, so maybe this playful song was one of their favorites.

photo collages created by Deborah Dudley  ~

Deborah Dudley

postcards from Brain Candy series by Deborah Dudley working in conjunction with her daughters


Hamburger Banhof Museum, Berlin – July 31, 2014

Hamburger Banhof facad

All images copyright © 2014 by Stephanie Reid

We didn’t see the entire museum, but instead spent a good deal of time in the upstairs film installation room and the following exhibition:

The End of the 20th Century. The Best Is Yet to Come. A Dialogue with the Marx Collection (part of the museum’s permanent collection from Erich Marx)

Warhol of Joseph Beuys with diamond dust

Landscape of Beuys’s basalt sculptures

a giant Mao painting against Mao wallpaper in a room of violent images – Elvis with guns, electric chairs, knives, a car accident death, pointy-toed spiked-heeled pumps

Warhols Mao

 A film room 1920 William Kentridge from South Africa “Journey to the Moon” brought back to mind the films that inspired me to begin film making in the early 90’s. Special effects in the pre-digital era required a great deal of experimentation and imagination. Almost a century later, they are still effective as poetic storytelling devices. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPf63b6Glz8

A variety of Rauschenberg’s works such as Pink Door, Mule Deer, and collage prints described by John Cage as looking at several TV screens, on different channels, simultaneously

A Cy Twombly room featured several works including “The School of Fontainebleau” and “I am Thyrsis of Etna”, but my favorite of his works being shown was, “Empire of Flora” with its exciting treatment and colors of flowers. It has the sense of playing in a garden, getting ones hands dirty, pulling weeds, bumblebees, blooms and water streaming from a hose.

Full Empire Cy floral Cy signature Empire of Flora

This wing ended in an Anselm Kiefer gallery where the astounding “Lilith amroten Meer” commanded serious attention but only after visiting his less weighty work “Ways of Worldly Wisdom: Armenius’s Battle” on the side wall.

Lilith am roten Meertiny dressLilith textLilith backing detail Lilith cement detail

Ways of Worldly Wisdom

 

Rachel Whitereed – Untitled with Thomas Struth – San Zaccharia time lapse photograph

Whiteread and Struth

ceiling detail neon

The last exhibition we visited was the reason we came to the museum that day. Our film teacher, Anna Faroqhi, had to bow out of instructing our film workshop because her father, the film essayist, Harun Farocki, had died during the residency just a couple of days before the class was scheduled. We wanted to honor his memory by going to see his exhibition. The Hamburger Banhof was showing several of his works at the time, so instead of class we went to see some of his projects. On either side of the viewing room entrance two small monitors, and a viewing bench with headphones, invited visitors to relax and take in the show. However, the first essay was “Inextinguishable Fire”, a disquieting reenactment of the development of napalm at the Dow Chemical Plant and the atrocities committed by its use. **WATCH AT YOUR OWN RISK. It gets a gory: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JBbgWSBTdA

That foyer lead to a large room with four screens staggered throughout and showing the shorts from his, “Serious Games” series. These films explore different phases of soldier training from video game simulation, a live action simulation which took place in a small fabricated village with actors pretending to be the inhabitants, the creation of the video games, and post traumatic distress therapy. I found the post traumatic distress therapy to be useful in developing a conversation to have with my teenage brother should he still be considering joining the military.

Upon exiting, a compilation segments of at least three of films could be filmed on the other monitor. of his 1995 film “Interface”