Art Group # 3

May 12th, 2007

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We had another successful SB C Art Group gathering last Friday at Ethan and Bill’s ‘Perch Art Studio/Gallery’.

Both Jonny Troyna and Steve Soria presented video pieces, digitally projected onto the Perch wall between Bill’s new minimalistic alters.

Steve’s piece (image below), an eerily empty/vacant feeling animation depicting several pilot-less blimps hovering around a hyper-urban lurching city full of cartoonish angles and open windows. Hanging from each blimp were several arms with surveillance cameras attached to them, bobbing up and down as if to seek out a better view into a window or doorway below.

Shifting scale from Soria’s macro scaled cityscape, we then watched Jonny’s piece (image below) which focuses only on a sleepy, ailing/dying hummingbird. The backwards soundscape combined with a barely intelligible poem being softly spoken by a computerized voice lulls you into a sort-of calm yet emotionally aware alpha-state. Jonny discussed his process a little, and how happenstance plays into art-making (in this case, he had set up the camera’s for something else when the hummingbird appeared).

After Jonny’s presentation, conversation turned to Bill’s minimalist alters, which had all (amazingly) been built, painted, and mounted in the space of a week. Bill casually posed questions about how humans ability to ‘focus’ relates to shapes, color, and of course context.

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Image is still from Jonny Troyna’s video piece.

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Still from Steve Soria’s motion work for his Exhibition at CAF

Jonny, Saul, Steve
Jonny, Saul, Steve

Last weeks gathering went wonderfully.

Based on the Evite tally, I thought just a few of us would show up. Instead, we had a very nicely sized gathering; Steve Soria, Tellef, Ethan Turpin, Bill McVickar, Jonny Troyna, Akiko Ooi, Calico Brown (and daughter), Saul GH, and myself.

Conversations ranged all over; from various uses for databases in art projects, to techniques for plastics and ideas for rusting flight simulators. Saul G. and I were the lucky recipients of some very constructive and healthy critique. Personally, it had been a while since I had so much intelligent, constructive and engaging input. Saul was pretty pleased too. All in all, things are looking very good for ongoing meetings.

Next months meeting will be at Perch (Ethan and Bills space) on Friday, May 4. Jonny T. and Steve Soria will be showing some of their work. Check the ArtBoard for more info as the date approaches.



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Bill and Tellef

Thanks to Steve for the extra photos

Art4 Crit Group

March 2nd, 2007

Art4 Crit Group

After a few months of talking about it on the sb Contemporary Arts (bulletin) Board, we finally managed to have our first Art4 Crit Group Meeting (also known as A.R.T. or Art Related Therapy group).

We met out in Goleta at Tellef Tellefson‘s shipping container which he has mostly customized (and is an awesome and inspiring use of space). Nibbling on peanuts, mochi, chips, wine, Sierra Nevada and french fries…We had a great set of very fun and interesting conversations; from possibilities for Ethan’s word-charts to Kim Yasuda’s program at UCSB, focusing on making artful, modular use of generic steel shipping containers. Also there were Ethan Turpin, Calico Brown, Yogi (pronounced Yo-Gee) who’s last name I can’t remember and Brooke Devenney from UCSB. Last but not least, self-described ‘amazing-human-being’, Christian “the Blacksmith” Hackett (aka the ‘tin-foil-man‘) .

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So yes. A very interesting and hopeful first meeting! Lots of lively conversation, good food, and great ideas. Hopefully more to come soon.

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Yesterday I visited the Museum of Jurassic Technology in Culver City today with some friends. I had never heard about it prior to this afternoon, and basically went there on a 2nd-hand tip from my friend Chris’s professor at CalArts. “He said it was pretty cool and weird” said Chris – so off we went.

First of all, I was baffled by the title. Jurassic Technology? I had never imagined the two words in the same sentence..but..Nevermind that.. We just went, opened thee door, and now, well…

The museum describes itself as a “specialized repository of relics and artifacts from the Lower Jurassic, with an emphasis on those that demonstrate unusual or curious technological qualities”. But what it really is is a bit more eye-opening.
The experience cuts directly to the heart of what it is that motivates my art on the most basic and fundamental level, and really made me re-think my approach to my own work. The curators at MJT have followed through entirely on an idea that very few people deliberately elaborate on effectively – including myself.

I can’t say enough about it.. I won’t say anything more about it here, except for;

1. Please Go See it
and

2. When you go, prepare yourself for a little mental wriggling.

Confusion can be a very creative state of mind; in fact, confusion can act as a vehicle to open people’s minds. The hard shell of certainty can be shattered…” — David Wilson in an interview with author Lawrence Weschler, originally aired on NPR, October 27, 2001.