AFJORDANCE 2019

 

 

AFJORDANCE, 2019, single channel video, soundtrack composed by the digital armature joint movements referencing an open source audio library of wind. The video looks at the new complexities emerging in Artificial Intelligence, the ways humans create mirrored structures, and affordances in the notions of Intelligence itself. Exhibited in California, Norway, and Italy.

 

February 2020, Corwin Pavilion, University of California Santa Barbara for AWMAS Conference.

March 2020, Arteriet, Kvinnekroppen Utstillingen, Kristiansand, Norway.

October-November 2020, LoosenArt at Millepiani, Rome, Italy.

June 2021, New York Tri-State Film Festival.

 
Norwegian: AFJORDANCE, 2019er i enkeltkanals video, med lydspor komponert av de digitale armaturleddbevegelsene som refererer til et lydbibliotek med åpen kildekode for vind. Videoen ser på de nye kompleksitetene som dukker opp i kunstig intelligens, måtene mennesker lager speilvendte strukturer og overkommelige i forestillingene om intelligens i seg selv. )
 

Performance & Edit, Rachel Wolfe www.rachelwolfe.com

Affordance Technologist, Harald de Bondt www.movingmaking.com

Videography, Børge Indergaard www.indergaard.net

 

 

FULL TEXT

AFJORDANCE, 2019, Approximate run time 13:50 minutes, single channel video (with audio).

Affordance is what the environment offers the individual, and refers to all action possibilities depending on users’ physical capabilities. For example, a chair “affords” being “sat on,” “thrown,” “stood on,” and a continuing use of probabilities. James J. Gibson, coined the term “affordance.” The video portrays a dance at the fjord as movement research for technology lab-work.The project developed from the Solfège Souche video performance. The relationship between the human body and the natural world remains full of misunderstandings and spaces for insight. As Artificial Intelligence becomes part of human life, and human relations are increasingly dependent on technological screens and interfaces, the question of what is knowing and the way Intelligence is understood comes into question in the video. The wind sound in Afjordance are from open source libraries. The composition is made by refercing the joints in the wire frame armature. This armature positioned antagonistically opposed to the fully covered body. The body becomes a form without much identity other than it shows the proportions of a female body. The wire frame of the body becomes the composer, making a track of wind sounds as an echo of the movements of the body. The feminine as a figure of the earth or “mother nature” in certain instances is faced with the exorcised image of itself which can scarcely mirror the motions from the limited human body. The video is intended to be projected with sound, to create an immersive experience for viewers to consider the themes of technology, the body, nature elements. The experience provides a multi-sensory meditation on the possible meanings and implications of the emergent technology.

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

ARTISTIC RESEARCH: DRAFT FOR JOURNAL

 

 


 

MAGNETICS IN-MATERIAL

Intellectual Property Statement: The contents of this page are protected by Copyright and Intellectual Property Rights. Images and Ideas contained or attached to this page cannot be used by individuals or organisations without direct written permission, license, or agreement given by Rachel Wolfe.

 

 

MAGNETICS IN-MATERIAL Objective

Magnetics In-Material weaves aesthetic movements from earth’s history. Magnetic emanations from the earth are woven to form visual representations. The textiles create an earth-based narrative from a geological perspective of time. Demarcated by textures and colours woven based on the recordings from the earth, the invisible forces from within the earth become Visual, Sensual (tactile), and Actual (woven). The textiles reveal understandings in human relationships with nature and present iterative opportunities to make textile(s) of the magnetic records at a variety of sites. Potential themes could be, but not limited to, locations of cultural and historical significance such as shrines, pilgrimage routes, or political and humanitarian organisations such as NATO and UNESCO. 

 

Field of Artistic Research

Magnetics In-Material is a cross disciplinary artistic research project encompassing artwork, anthropology, embodied cognition, imaging structures, textiles, and geologic sciences for epistemic investigations. The artistic research aims to look at the way images are both felt and understood, from a bottom-up approach. 

 


Summary

The challenging hypothesis – the ways places make people, will develop the proposed, specific methodology under PhD supervision. The methodology of is important and uses a qualitative, blended research study. Purely quantitative analysis from an empirical point of view can be problematic. Collected data in tables or graphs can be misleading. The current plan is to use data, geological data and magnetic resonance measures to create tactile objects, people can view. The aim is to establish a tactile way to connect with the things we cannot see, and study through blended social implementation and data comparison. Focusing on creating “maps” the woven images, create pictures we can relate to. Necessity of this purpose for blended research information is to create a common ground for meaningful relating in a continually evolvoing, multicultural, and global paradigm.

 

Research Question(s) 

How do places make people? Further questions here and expanded later on in Project Summary Goals: 

  • Can creating a sense of place be a viable concept for geographic empathy?
  • Ways touch and subjective experience contribute to quests for objectivity.
  • Creating sites for understanding, intuition, and subjectivity in technocratic culture and climate changes. 
  • Usefulness of statistical data models in evaluating Intelligence.
  • Responsibilities of data science and influences images have on social policy.
  • Art as supporting diversity in cultural rituals and identities. 
  • To what extent can culture support the disintegration of identity politics in favour of earth-based perspectives in the history of human behaviour, environmental fluctuations, social formations.
  • Can materials and production afford reliable alternatives to present-day socio-economic models.

 

Background, Research Context, Goals, Methods

Magnetics In-Material (Mi-M) developed from 6-years Pattern Recognition project. The project looks at the idea of A.I., landscape photography, and 1970’s American Land Art movement. With the orientation of working-with and not over emerges a biologically, ontological question: what creates a body? and the Mi-M question: how do places make people? The project and process looks at ways of working in relationship with nature, instead of using, or looking at, nature as pure resource. 

Gathered rocks from meditative hikes were numbered, archived, and drawn. Rock faces were made into drawings, drawings into choreography, and the feeling of the movements into the template for the visual textile project, Magnetics In-Material. By connecting my background with photography, image making and installation, dance and performance with my interests in geology and dating, the project realises several goals:

  • Giving people a sense of understanding through experience
  • Reprieve from alienation through creating belonging by connecting with nature
  • Temporal and sensorial reminders of wholeness and warmth in relations with nature
  • Realise the impossible act of hugging the visual field 
  • The body becoming in relationship with a place
  • Sharp textures into soft experiences
  • Absolute and brutal beauty of weather patterns into physically engaging comfort materials.

Magnetics In-Material weaves sensorial experience, repairing alienation by making the imaginary tactile. Woven fibres serve as temporal warmth. In creating a cultural way to connect with movements deep within the earth through touch, Magnetics In-Material weaves together traditions in art, technology, and social psychology.

 

Process & Reflexive Documentation

Utilise remnant magnetic data from organisations such as Norge’s Geologiske Undersøkelse and International Geoscience Organsiations, sourcing data to create dimensional textiles, such as jacquards with TC2 Loom technology, to show the top and inside, as interrelated surfaces. 

The process of the artistic research project based on the theory of how places making people, and study of pre-existing natural, magnetic phenomena. Magnetics are related to knowledge production in physics, the ontological question of existence whether or not humans observe the phenomenon. The process therefore involves ideas on documentation to bring human understanding with greater sensitivity with the nature. The fields have become politicised, and so the process and documentation will remain diligent to cite and source facts from peer-reviewed organisations. By exposing observations and facts alongside the project, the research already being done can come into public awareness alongside the textiles, creating site specific visual reference via Magnetics In-Material textiles.

Photographs/images, videos, writing as documentation of the process, as well as the formation of a visual database. The project can serve as a grounds for establishing a company that can bridge science and art. Organisation and design of the textiles, production, quality control and compiling the artworks to an exhibition. The goal is to eventually one day have designs created by hand at Gobelin.

   

Project Outline

Organisation and design of the textiles, production, quality control and compiling the artworks to an exhibition. The goal is to eventually one day have one of the designs created by hand at Gobelin.

    • Gather and Organise Geographic Data
    • Establish Structure for Project Elements and Publishing
    • Generate a Database of Texts, Sounds, and Visual Translations
    • Converting Geologic Frequencies into Sounds and Colour Spectrums in a Unique Aesthetic Database
    • Experimentation with Textiles for Conductivity, Sound, and Luminance Materials
    • Programming for Machine Output and Materialisation
    • Finalised Textile Production Through Machine Weaving (future goal production at Gobelin, FR)
    • Publishing of Project Elements and Results
    • Public Exhibition and Performance

 

Provisional Time Table and Work Plan

Year One 

    • Gather and Organise Geographic Data 
    • Establish Structure for reflexive project archive in an archive, web and print 
    • Converting Geologic Frequencies into Sounds and Colour
      Spectrums creating a Unique Database 
    • Weave Textile Designs from this Database 
    • Experiment with Materials for Conductivity, Sound,
      Luminance 
    • Produce Digitally Woven Samples 

Year Two 

    • Finalised Textile Production via Digital/Hand Machine
      Weaving 
    • Publishing of Project Elements, Reflexive Documentation
      (including video) and Results 
    • Choreography for the final exhibition 
    • Public Exhibition and Performance 
    • Finalisation & Publishing 
    • Process for therapeutic or social integration

Year Three And Beyond

    • Finalised Textile Production Through Machine Weaving
    • Publishing of Project Elements and Results 
    • Public Exhibition and Performance 
    • Finalisation & Publishing of Pedagogical Methodology (Possible Therapeutic or Social Integration Uses)

Year Four +Beyond

    • After first publication of dissertation and exhibition, repeat the process and production for more sites for exhibition and performance.

 


Budget

Potential Project Related Expenses

    • Workspace for production, shipping, or textile storage
    • Labor (personal or assistants), use of weaving machine: https://www.digitalweaving.no/product/ 
    • Sourcing yarns, fibres, and experimental materials (ex. copper or fibre optics)
    • Scholarships, Embassy Support, private donors, teaching fellowship, public workshops
    • Norge’s Geologiske Undersøkelse data is openly available for use
    • Travel for conferences, exhibitions, professional presentations, necessary networking 

 


Texts, Books, Journals, Research

Remnant Magnetism, https://www.britannica.com/science/remanent-magnetism
Norske Geologiske Undersøkelse, https://www.ngu.no 

Remanent magnetism (Paleomagnetism) or the permanent magnetism in rocks, resulting from the orientation of the Earth’s magnetic field at the time of rock formation in a past geological age is the source of information for the paleomagnetic studies of polar wandering and continental drift. Remanent magnetism can derive from several natural processes. This arises when magnetic minerals forming in igneous rocks cool through the Curie point and when the magnetic domains within the individual minerals align themselves with the Earth’s magnetic field, thus making a permanent record of its orientation. 

A second mechanism operates when small grains of magnetic minerals settle into a sedimentary matrix, producing detrital remanent magnetism. It is hypothesised that the tiny grains orient themselves in the direction of the Earth’s magnetic field during deposition and before the final consolidation of the rock. The magnetism thus introduced appears to persist through later alteration and compaction of the rock. 

Rocks may acquire remanent magnetism in at least two other ways: (1) rocks made up of nonmagnetic minerals chemically altered to yield magnetic minerals, and these newly formed minerals acquire remanent magnetism in the presence of the Earth’s magnetic field; and (2) igneous rocks already cooled may acquire remanent magnetism by a process called viscous magnetization. The difference between these types of remanent magnetism can be determined; magnetic history of a particular rock can therefore be interpreted via 6 basic types of magnetisation: (1) diamagnetism, (2) paramagnetism, (3) ferromagnetism, (4) antiferromagnetism, (5) ferrimagnetism, (6) superparamagnetism. 

 

Bibliography

Batchelor, David, Chromophobia, Reaktion Press, 2000.

Batchelor, David, The Luminous and the Gray, Reaktion Press, 2014.

Dragesund, Tove, and Alice Kvåle. “Study protocol for Norwegian Psychomotor Physiotherapy versus Cognitive Patient Education in combination with active individualized physiotherapy in patients with long-lasting musculoskeletal pain – a randomized controlled trial.” BMC musculoskeletal disorders vol. 17 325. 5 Aug. 2016, doi:10.1186/s12891-016-1159-8, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4974790/

Eco, Umberto, The Open Work, Harvard Univerity Press, 1989.

Eco, Umberto, Travels in Hyper Reality, Gruppo Editoriale, 1983

Eco, Umberto, Chronicles of a Liquid Society, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016.

Ghezzo, Marta Arkossy, Solfege, Ear Training, Rhythm, Dictation, and Music Theory: A Comprehensive Course 3rd Edition, University Alabama Press, June 2005.

Haugeland, John, Artificial Intelligence: The Very Idea, A Bradford Book, 1985.

Johnson, Don, The Protean Body, Harpercollins, 1977.

Klempe, Sven Hroar, Cultural Psychology of Musical Experience, Information Age Publishing, 2016.

Mansoor, Asma, De-Anthropologising the Human and its Impact on Racism: A Third World Perspective Proceedings of A Body of Knowledge, Embodied Cognition and the Arts Conference CTSA UCI, 8-10 Dec 2016, https://escholarship.org/uc/item/1ds0r585

Mate, Gabor, When the Body Says No: Understanding the Stress-Disease Connection. Wiley, January 2011.

Mate, Gabor, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts, Close Encounters with Addiction, North Atlantic Books, 2008.

Noë, Alva, Strange Tools: Art and Human Nature, Hill and Wang, September 2015. Noë, Alva, Varieties of Presence, Harvard University
Press, 2009.

Noë, Alva, Why You Are Not Your Brain, and Other Lessons from the Biology of Consciousness, Hill and Wang, February 2009.

Sapowlsky, Robert, (neuroendocrinologist, author, professor of biology, neurology and neurological sciences) Stanford Lectures, published by Stanford University on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNnIGh9g6fA

Scarry, Elaine, The Body in Pain, Oxford University Press, 1984.

Scarry, Elaine, On Beauty and Being Just, Princeton University Press, 1999.

Scarry, Elaine, Thinking In An Emergency, W.W. Norton & Company, March 2014.

Scarry, Elaine, Resisting Representation, Oxford University Press, 1994.

Scwhenk, Theodore, Sensitive Chaos, Rudolf Steiner Press, 1965.

Van Der Kolk, Bessel A. M.D., The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma, Penguin Random House, September 2014.

 

Artists

Ingrid Aarset’s work with textiles and technology.

Lygia Pape and Lygia Clarke, for their contributions to performances using textiles and groups of human bodies.

Pedro Gomez-Egaña for the spiritual in the technological age.

Amanda Steggel’s, Mind the Gap, work with synthesia and for mapping the way sounds relate to colors and energy centres of the body.

Dorothea Tanning’s surrealism to make the invisible but felt senses of lived experience tactile, formal, pictorial and spacial. 

Live Bugge’s, The Other Wild, for investigations on the boundaries on behavior and transgressions. 

Katrine Koster Holst’s work on the landscape changing over time.

Geir Harald Semuelsen’s work with light. 

Francesca Capone’s direct, literal, blocks discerning patterns.

 

Ethical Considerations 

Privacy, GDPR, internet laws and regulations to access and storage of data, legal consent, public information, and privacy of individual contributions will be considered.

Translating data must be understood from the perspective of artistic choices, underlined by the effort to maintain elemental integrity. Considering subjectivity in processes borrowed from scientific methodology, actual realised results cannot be considered wholly objective. This shall be acknowledged, questioned, written, and shared in presentations, publications, and future developments from the Magnetics In-Material project.

The research methodologies to be considered as critical or negotiable features for future research methodologies and with the possibility for other institutional use, pedagogical developments in the realm of private or government institutions, or public domain.

The research and pedagogical approach developed during the project are free to be used for running workshops and courses alongside the project. These courses can be used for enriching local cultural exchange, as an educational resource and site for additional funding of the project.

Resourcing local production to minimise international shipping or travel expenses.

Insurance for the artwork, machines, materials, and data, to be purchased and maintained throughout the duration of the research and productions thereafter.

Language, writing and documentation will be reviewed for facts and technical accuracy. The number of unforeseeable ethical considerations will be consulted through the advisory team, faculty, and staff, considering international copyright and intellectual property laws.

 


 

SOLFEGE SOUCHE 2018

 

SOLFEGE SOUCHE, 2018, single-channel video, sound composition and arrangement. 

“I love the way the figure is emerges then blends back into its surroundings, it is how I feel in the wild parts of Skye as if I am the landscape. The light is beautiful. It isn’t like Bill Viola’s work, but it has the same emotional effect on me.” -Joan Foye, UK

 

February 2019, Palazzo Michiel, Strada Nova, 4391, 30121 Campo Santi Apostoli, Venezia, Italy

June 2019, Czong Institute for Contemporary Art (CICA Museum), Gyeonggi-do, South Korea

October 2020, “The Performer”, LoosenArt, Millipiani, Rome, Italy

June 2020, Semi-Finalist, Dumbo Film Festival, New York.

June 2021, Finalist in Best Experimental Film Category, Beyond The Curve Film Festival, Paris, France.

June 2021, New York Tri-State Film Festival.

 

   

A Solfège Souche is by definition the root of a forgotten connection with nature. In times of rapidly increased use of technology, humans face increased stimulation and variables on age old questions in ethics and morality. In an effort to portray a dynamic relationship with nature, instead of dominance over nature, the Butoh movements recreate ways lifeforms cut down in the forest continually find ways to reach towards light. This space framed in the video presents a body moving amongst an autumnal forest, merging and emerging from light and shadows. The body draws lines through movement; binaural beats compose the soundtrack. The pitches register at markers in time, reminiscent of ear trauma or tinnitus. The Solfège Souche video is situated at the intersection of dance, performance, video art, projection, embodied cognition research, and resonance study. The artistic research and pedagogical development around the project asks the questions: Are our cultural and bodily movements dangerous if we do not understand what we stand to lose? In what ways do sounds move and change forms from within the body and around? 

 

“Ut queant laxīs resonāre fībrīs; Mīra gestōrum famulī tuōrum; Solve pollūtī labiī reātum, Sancte Iōhannēs.”

 

The term, Solfège, refers to the music education method developed to teach sight-singing and pitch accuracy. Originating in 11th century, music theorist Guido of Arezzo assigned six syllables: ut, re, mi, fa, sol, la, now recognized as the major scale. Much later, the “ut” was changed to the open syllable “do”. “Sol” changed to “so”. “Si” later became “ti”, was added for the seventh scale-note, giving rise to the modern solfège. Souche has several meanings; as a stump (of a tree), the Latin word meaning root, simultaneously referring to genealogy. Souche was also a name of an unknown virus claiming the lives of at least twenty people  (une souche virale inédite a fait au minimum vingt morts).

The changes and understandings in musical notation, are related to posture and movement. These bodily performances considered intuitive or based on vision, relating Gregorian and Orthodox histories with traditions found in native and pagan rites of passage. Therefore the things themselves, present and projected become the shared ground. The next record in this artistic research is the Afjordance video projection and data based, algorithmic generated sounds based on the term Affordance. 

Affordance is what the environment offers the individual, and refers to all action possibilities depending on users’ physical capabilities. For example, a chair not only “affords” being “sat on,” but also “thrown,” “stood on,” and so on. James J. Gibson, coined the term “affordance.”

 

 
NORSK: Solfege Souche, 2018, enkelt kanel med lyd, filmet i Maridalen, Oslo, Norway

En Solfège Souche er per definisjon roten til en glemt forbindelse med naturen. I tider med raskt økt bruk av teknologi, møter mennesker økt stimulering og variabler på eldgamle spørsmål innen etikk og moral. I et forsøk på å skildre et dynamisk forhold til naturen, i stedet for dominans over naturen, gjenskaper Butoh-bevegelsene måter livsformer kuttet ned i skogen kontinuerlig finner måter å nå mot lys. Dette rommet innrammet i videoen presenterer en kropp som beveger seg mellom en høstlig skog, smelter sammen og kommer ut fra lys og skygger. Kroppen trekker linjer gjennom bevegelse; binaural beats komponerer lydsporet. Plassene registreres ved markører i tide, og minner om øre traumer eller tinnitus.

Solfège Souche-videoen ligger i skjæringspunktet mellom dans, performance, videokunst, projeksjon, forskning og studier. Den kunstneriske forskningen og den pedagogiske utviklingen stiller spørsmålene: Er våre kulturelle og kroppslige bevegelser farlige hvis vi ikke forstår hva vi taper? På hvilke måter beveger lyd og endrer form fra kroppen og rundt?

Ut queant laxīs resonāre fībrīs; Mīra gestōrum famulī tuōrum; Løs pollūtī labiī reātum, Sancte Iōhannēs.
 
Begrepet, Solfège, refererer til musikkopplæringsmetoden som er utviklet for å undervise i synge og tonehøyde. Opprinnelsen fra det 11. århundre tildelte musikteoretikeren Guido fra Arezzo seks stavelser: ut, re, mi, fa, sol, la, nå anerkjent som hovedskala. Mye senere ble “ut” endret til den åpne stavelsen “do”. “Sol” endret til “så”. “Si” ble senere “ti”, ble lagt til for den syvende skala-noten, noe som ga opphav til den moderne solfège. Souche har flere betydninger; som en stubbe (av et tre), det latinske ordet som betyr rot, og refererer samtidig til slektsforskning. Souche var også et navn på et ukjent virus som krevde livet til minst tjue mennesker (une souche virale inédite a fait au minimum vingt morts).

Endringene og forståelsene i musikalsk notasjon, er relatert til holdning og bevegelse. Disse kroppslige forestillingene ble ansett som intuitive eller basert på visjon, og relaterte gregorianske og ortodokse historier med tradisjoner som finnes i innfødte og hedenske overgangsritualer. Derfor blir tingene i seg selv, nåværende og projiserte, den delte bakken. Den neste posten i denne kunstneriske forskningen er Afjordance videoprojeksjon og databaserte, algoritmisk genererte lyder basert på begrepet Affordance.

Overlegenhet er hva miljøet tilbyr individet, og refererer til alle handlingsmuligheter avhengig av brukernes fysiske evner. For eksempel gir en stol ikke bare “å sitte på”, men også “kastet”, “sto på” og så videre. James J. Gibson, laget begrepet “overkommelighet”.

 
 

SECURITY BLANKET (TROUBLEWEED)

 

Installation with Security blanket (troubleweed), 2015, installation, Bolsky Gallery, Los Angeles, California, traveling object. Materials: Photographic print on bathing towel (troubleweed), wooden monkey, dried roses, clear plexi, twine, golden clamps, cotton bags of salt labeled “take me.” A few left with visitors to the exhibition.

 

The installation explores symbolic and literal functions of narrative. Symbolic objects specifically arranged to materialise ideas, or cognitive “things”: Boundary, Grief, Security, Transparency, and Choice.

Troubleweed (photographic print on bathing towel) was sent via USPS & photographed by artists, continuing the installations thematic elements: Trust, Transparency, Choice, Cooperation, Resource. The tumbleweed, as an associated symbol of the western desert, found its way into the Los Angeles River during a drought. During a time of environmental drought, the representation of a prickly ball on a soft surface continued to travel across the United States, depicted by artists in their location and within the relationship of their praxis of art and ways of living.

The traveling Troubleweed bathing towel looks at the question: Can an inanimate object traveling through space and time, via the interdependent wills of artists offer insight into the values which constitute a nation?  

After the installation transformed into an ongoing body of work, the archive became an accumulation of bodies of labor, in the time of the internet, where communication and the quality of sincerity is questioned to exist and critiqued as sentimental. The travel archive and final resting place of the work, extends the original metaphor and metaphysical propositions of the original installation.

There were no time constraints on the project. The premise of not having a time constraint looks at the line or levy of personal will. The USPS, once carried by horse and now by horse power and machine sorting assistants, still require the human as critical points within a functional system. The project works as an aggregate of an experiment. At each destination, the towel encounters photographic documentation. The act of imaging as a personal motive and labor are made as free choice.

As much as records provide proof, the archive seeks to underline the existence of motives rooted in: care, play, trust, and free-will, within systems of commodity and capital. Connecting people across Time (zones) and Space (geography), factors often considered to destroy human bonds, the Troubleweed bathing towel project reveal the peculiar value ascribed to an inanimate object is not in the object itself, but in the intangible values that constitute its traverse through Space and Time. As Douglas Adams once described in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: a towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have.

In 2020 the Troubleweed bathing towel, hitchhiked through the labors of artists, found its resting place in Santa Rosa, California, where the towel found a home. Alas the story inevitably continues, though outside the parameters of surveillance the record of archives the traveling component of this work imposed .  

 


 

Original film image of an Ojai tumbleweed in the Los Angeles River at Culver City.

 


 

Troubleweed bathing towel photographed as hypothetical bathing towel at Bygdøy Sjobad, Oslo, Norway, 2016.

 

 


 

 

Troubleweed bathing towel by Mark Uhalley, Los Angeles, California, 2017. Mark’s Vimeo channel.

 

 


 

 

Troubleweed bathing towel by Bryan Bankston, Richmond, Texas, 2017. Bryan’s Photography page on Facebook.

 

 


 

Troubleweed bathing towel by Stephanie Larson, Fort Myers, Florida, 2017. @wellspringwonder

 

 

 


 

Troubleweed bathing towel by Christina Song, Chicago, Illinois, 2017. @softycreamy

 

 

 


 

Troubleweed bathing towel by Maggie Meiners, 2017. @maggiemeinersphotography

 

 


 

Troubleweed bathing towel by Justine Genevieve Bianco, Palo Alto, 2017.

 

 


 

Troubleweed bathing towel by Brett Manning, Royal Center, Indiana, 2018.

Brett’s Instagram & Etsy Shoppe.

 


 

Troubleweed bathing towel by Maren’s Celest, Chicago, Illinois, 2018.

Maren’s Instagram and her new album on Spotify.

 

 

 


 

Troubleweed bathing towel by Yulia Morris, Los Angeles, California, 2019. Yulia’s Instagram.

 

 


 

FINAL RESTING PLACE

Troubleweed bathing towel by artist Peter Alan, Santa Rosa, California, 2020.

 

 


SUSPENDED PLANES 2015

 

 

SUSPENDED PLANES, 2015, Installation, Configurations 1.0-4.0, Culver City, CA

Two square planes, one clear and one glossy black paint, suspended by tension from which nails affix twine to the wall. Painted gold clamps grasp each corner, as twine slips through, a projection of hands touching themselves as light passes onto, through, and around the planes as a meditation on words written by Kafka, “We photograph things in order to drive them out of our minds.”  The work expands the nature of the photographic image into a physically experienced, dimensional space. Centralizing a corning with a double planes of plexi, emphasize the hovering and pointing qualities of image making, and sensual experiences of an image. In a single-reflex system, such a quote appears articulated from observable reality, as each configuration assigning a new variable, shows the limits of such a system. Viewers are able to physically navigate this single reflex system, with the aim to point to multiple systems of the their bodies to enable and dismantle a singular-reflex system. The final configuration 4,0 leading to a direct experience of the single-reflex planes obfuscation of bodily projection.

 

 

Materials 1.0 Twine, nail, clamp, gold and black gloss paint, two panels of acrylic 40.64 x 40.64cm 2.0 Same as above with projected light 3.0 Same as above with projected video 4.0 Same as above with projected video

 

 

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POWER PLANTS PIANO 2015

POWER PLANTS PIANO, 2015, Installation, Culver City, CA. “Death of the Artist” installation involving: Blue paint, two square mirrors, 8 potted palms, 7 potted mums, tree bench covered in epoxy, Casio piano on stand, skylight. Note: Play the video with sound on to receive the “that’s too real” conversation. A writing and HC Andersen story follow the mobile phone video documentation.

 

 

What does “artist” mean? There was a time it means becoming incredibly skilled and creating something deemed valuable. Thanks to pre and post modern theorists, authors created the ability to think about the structure of life based on a multitude of awarenesses. During the last several decades, the demand for Master degrees as a certification to be eligible to teach or attain certain jobs, created an identifiable social phenomena: artist as identifiable myth. The story of where the artist came from, how that is tied their practice (as if in a perpetual state of never becoming a professional), is not only assumed to be the way for an artist to carve out a career but if a person making art goes against it, they may be cast aside from the “canon.”

 

In this perspective, art became both advertising and war. Instead of a ballistic material, the art object becomes a transitory object of the artists’ identity. The notion “anything can be art” opened up the field of art so much as to making anyone who questioned the blatant obtuseness of artist productions subject to being labelled in a sociologically negative way. Labels such as “rural”, “dull”, “unsophisticated”, became backed up by a strange blend of European philosophies, the Europeans themselves did not understand. This canon as often marked as having virtue by being related to the prestigious Frankfurt School, tactically warned even describing the obvious nature of what is going on would be cast out (perhaps expelled by the institution receiving cash or federal loan money), and if not then, then cast out of further legitimised work opportunities.

 

This idealogical apparatus became increasingly apparent as social media and the internet found ways to weaponise media. As every body with a mobile computer device became an unprofessional videographer, photographer, podcaster, editor, reporter or journalist, the space between abject emotional experiences to public viewership collapsed. Instead of clarity, a period of confusion arose. The obtuseness of “art” and the silencing nature of “ssshhhh, you shalt not speak unless degreed” created a scenario as Tom Wolfe writes in The Painted Word. A bit of a complicated version of the children’s story, The Emperor’s New Clothes by Hans Christian Andersen; in other words the emperor had no clothes on and no one dared say.

 

Roland Barthes, Death of the Author, sent forth the notion the author is not the matter in the book. The reader takes from the signs on the page and imagines scenes and recreates a story that may or may not be related to the authors intention. The focus on the nuances in temporality may lose the attention of some readers yet clarifies an important aspect into the way the idea an artists’ history and identity is taken up by society. Artist then becomes some kind of signifier of class or virtue; which sucks out all the air from the post-modernist idealism of agency, authorship, freedom  because in post-modern ideals there is no objective truth or reality, and technology and scientific are merely avenues for power. The logos of post modernism becomes a logic unto itself, a closed loop or solipsism. This monocle with which to see the world simultaneously promises rewards (work or income, food and housing) while disregarding and disposing of the bodies and identities used. In this way, artists and their works become stones at which gallerists and societies throw stones at the other. 

 

In this exhibition, a wall is painted blue; an aqua reminiscent of the colour chosen as the painted bottom of a pool, or the backdrop in a butterfly enclosure. 8 Palms are lined in their shipped pots, spaced with 7 chrysanthemums, sided by a log bench, and an electric piano facing the audience of plants. Two mirrors in the corner of the enclosure, reflected sunlight during a specific window of time the sunlight cut into the roof of the building by the artist inhabiting the space prior to the current installation. (Perhaps viewers would draw meaning from these refracted lights or maybe they would not). The piano was left plugged in and on, and was played by whoever wished to. Instead of a pianist, or a painter, or a performer, the viewers became the witness to the Death of the Artist. While the elements in the room were chosen somewhat autobiographically, the awareness such identity really did not matter. As the exhibition was situated in the graduate exhibition event for the college, in Los Angeles a city noted for a wave of artists working in Institutional Critique, it would not be until several years (nearly a decade later), the work would be written about. 

 

 

The Emperor’s New Clothes by Hans Christian Andersen

Many, many years ago there was an emperor who was so terribly fond of beautiful new clothes that he spent all his money on his attire. He did not care about his soldiers, or attending the theatre, or even going for a drive in the park, unless it was to show off his new clothes. He had an outfit for every hour of the day. And just as we say, “The king is in his council chamber,” his subjects used to say, “The emperor is in his clothes closet.”

In the large town where the emperor’s palace was, life was gay and happy; and every day new visitors arrived. One day two swindlers came. They told everybody that they were weavers and that they could weave the most marvellous cloth. Not only were the colours and the patterns of their material extraordinarily beautiful, but the cloth had the strange quality of being invisible to anyone who was unfit for his office or unforgivably stupid.

“This is truly marvellous,” thought the emperor. “Now if I had robes cut from that material, I should know which of my councillors was unfit for his office, and I would be able to pick out my clever subjects myself. They must weave some material for me!” And he gave the swindlers a lot of money so they could start working at once.

They set up a loom and acted as if they were weaving, but the loom was empty. The fine silk and gold threads they demanded from the emperor they never used, but hid them in their own knapsacks. Late into the night they would sit before their empty loom, pretending to weave.

“I would like to know how far they’ve come,” thought the emperor; but his heart beat strangely when he remembered that those who were stupid or unfit for their office would not be able to see the material. Not that he was really worried that this would happen to him. Still, it might be better to send someone else the first time and see how he fared. Everybody in town had heard about the cloth’s magic quality and most of them could hardly wait to find out how stupid or unworthy their neighbours were.

“I shall send my faithful prime minister to see the weaver,” thought the emperor. “He will know how to judge the material, for he is both clever and fit for his office, if any man is.”

The good-natured old man stepped into the room where the weavers were working and saw the empty loom. He closed his eyes, and opened them again. “God preserve me!” he thought. “I cannot see a thing!” But he didn’t say it out loud.

The swindlers asked him to step a little closer so that he could admire the intricate patterns and marvellous colours of the material they were weaving. They both pointed to the empty loom, and the poor old prime minister opened his eyes as wide as he could; but it didn’t help, he still couldn’t see anything.

“Am I stupid?” he thought. “I can’t believe it, but if it is so, it is best no one finds out about it. But maybe I am not fit for my office. No, that is worse, I’d better not admit that I can’t see what they are weaving.”

“Tell us what you think of it,” demanded one of the swindlers.

“It is beautiful. It is very lovely,” mumbled the old prime minister, adjusting his glasses. “What patterns! What colours! I shall tell the emperor that I am greatly pleased.”

“And that pleases us,” the weavers said; and now they described the patterns and told which shades of colour they had used. The prime minister listened attentively, so that he could repeat their words to the emperor, and that is exactly what he did.

The two swindlers demanded more money, and more silk and gold thread. They said they had to use it for their weaving, but their loom remained as empty as ever.

Soon the emperor sent another of his trusted councillors to see how the work was progressing. He looked and looked just as the prime minister had, but since there was nothing to be seen, he didn’t see anything.

“Isn’t it a marvellous piece of material?” asked one of the swindlers; and they both began to describe the beauty of their cloth again.

“I am not stupid,” thought the emperor’s councillor. “I must be unfit for my office. That is strange; but I’d better not admit it to anyone.” And he started to praise the material, which he could not see, for the loveliness of its patterns and colours.

“I think it is the most charming piece of material I have ever seen,” declared the councillor to the emperor.

Everyone in town was talking about the marvellous cloth that the swindlers were weaving.

At last the emperor himself decided to see it before it was removed from the loom. Attended by the most important people in the empire, among them the prime minister and the councillor who had been there before, the emperor entered the room where the weavers were weaving furiously on their empty loom.

“Isn’t it magnifique?” asked the prime minister.

“Your Majesty, look at the colours and patterns,” said the councillor. And the two old gentlemen pointed to the empty loom, believing that all the rest of the company could see the cloth.

“What!” thought the emperor. “I can’t see a thing! Why, this is a disaster! Am I stupid? Am I unfit to be emperor? Oh, it is too horrible!” Aloud he said, “It is very lovely. It has my approval,” while he nodded his head and looked at the empty loom.

All the councillors, ministers, and men of great importance who had come with him stared and stared; but they saw no more than the emperor had seen, and they said the same thing that he had said, “It is lovely.” And they advised him to have clothes cut and sewn, so that he could wear them in the procession at the next great celebration.

“It is magnificent! Beautiful! Excellent!” All of their mouths agreed, though none of their eyes had seen anything. The two swindlers were decorated and given the title “Royal Knight of the Loom.”

The night before the procession, the two swindlers didn’t sleep at all. They had sixteen candles lighting up the room where they worked. Everyone could see how busy they were, getting the emperor’s new clothes finished. They pretended to take cloth from the loom; they cut the air with their big scissors, and sewed with needles without thread. At last they announced: “The emperor’s new clothes are ready!”

Together with his courtiers, the emperor came. The swindlers lifted their arms as if they were holding something in their hands, and said, “These are the trousers. This is the robe, and here is the train. They are all as light as if they were made of spider webs! It will be as if Your Majesty had almost nothing on, but that is their special virtue.”

“Oh yes,” breathed all the courtiers; but they saw nothing, for there was nothing to be seen.

“Will Your Imperial Majesty be so gracious as to take off your clothes?” asked the swindlers. “Over there by the big mirror, we shall help you put your new ones on.”

The emperor did as he was told; and the swindlers acted as if they were dressing him in the clothes they should have made. Finally they tied around his waist the long train which two of his most noble courtiers were to carry.

The emperor stood in front of the mirror admiring the clothes he couldn’t see.

“Oh, how they suit you! A perfect fit!” everyone exclaimed. “What colours! What patterns! The new clothes are magnificent!”

“The crimson canopy, under which Your Imperial Majesty is to walk, is waiting outside,” said the imperial master of court ceremony.

“Well, I am dressed. Aren’t my clothes becoming?” The emperor turned around once more in front of the mirror, pretending to study his finery.

The two gentlemen of the imperial bedchamber fumbled on the floor trying to find the train which they were supposed to carry. They didn’t dare admit that they didn’t see anything, so they pretended to pick up the train and held their hands as if they were carrying it.

The emperor walked in the procession under his crimson canopy. And all the people of the town, who had lined the streets or were looking down from the windows, said that the emperor’s new clothes were beautiful. “What a magnificent robe! And the train! How well the emperor’s clothes suit him!”

None of them were willing to admit that they hadn’t seen a thing; for if anyone did, then he was either stupid or unfit for the job he held. Never before had the emperor’s clothes been such a success.

“But he doesn’t have anything on!” cried a little child.

“Listen to the innocent one,” said the proud father. And the people whispered among each other and repeated what the child had said.

“He doesn’t have anything on. There’s a little child who says that he has nothing on.”

“He has nothing on!” shouted all the people at last.

The emperor shivered, for he was certain that they were right; but he thought, “I must bear it until the procession is over.” And he walked even more proudly, and the two gentlemen of the imperial bedchamber went on carrying the train that wasn’t there.