MACY ART GALLERY
RT THAT A TERATES I
Exploring change as a condition of the artistâ€™s way of knowing, making, and doing
Photo credits: Background - Matt Siber; Top row - Jason Caserta; Bottom row - left, Marta Cabral; middle, Matt Siber; right, Jason Caserta
MACY ART GALLERY
ART THAT ITERATES Exhibition: September 4 - 28, 2012 Curated by Sean Justice
Dr. Judith M. Burton, Director Cover Image: Np, Bill Schuck, 2012 All photography by Sean Justice unless otherwise noted.
Gallery Room A
Gallery Room A
Gallery Room B
Gallery Room B
The Impress of Changing Times Art is the product of the human heart and mind and the climate of the times in which it is made. In this provocative exhibition, Art that Iterates, we are introduced to an array of objects created out of fascinating aesthetic entanglements with science, biology and found materials where technology provides an arena for border crossings and invention. The works on show huff and puff, sing, dance, bob and grow, and can best be understood through full-body intervention rather than speculative and reserved viewing. But there is a twist. As Sean Justice the curator of this dynamic and innovative exhibition points out, the objects on show have come into being as a condition of their own becoming; this becoming is simultaneously the shared condition to which they all contribute and the shared time which gives them possibility. The cohesiveness of this exhibition is, nonetheless, underscored by richly distinctive and innovative configurations; here, the very notion of progress in art is implicitly critiqued as not the endless search for the new, fashionable or trendy, nor the static and fixed, but rather
constituted by idea-making and quests without closure that offer serious yet playful arenas for journeys of the mind. The sheer magnitude of change in what we call art today and what we recognize as artistic-aesthetic practice together with challenges and counter challenges to the interpretations of art history have transformed our very conception of a critical shaping mechanism of culture. The parameters of art education have exploded in their confrontation with new global and social imperatives, inspiring fresh constellations of possibility as the fine-arts morph with technology and vernacular forms into the often transitory presences of things unknown and, sometimes, unthinkable. The insistent drumbeat of technology once so distant now forefronts the emergence of new hybrid-repertoires of practice of a kind and range that we see in this fine exhibition. These border crossings carry artistic creativity and imagination into the outer reaches of our aesthetic worlds because digital materials and practices not only provide arenas for creativity and imagination but also offer new means of making works available to wider audiences. Indeed, as artists stretch out
into new communities of practice they invite participation and collaboration that make possible ever expanding crossdisciplinary conversations. One of this exhibitionâ€™s ambitious goals is to draw attention to the rich possibilities that arise from interweavings of digital, traditional and found materials, and to demonstrate the commonalities shared by artists across traditionally distinctive disciplines. Sean Justice achieves this goal in his thoughtful selection of creators and their works. As curator he highlights the constant challenge of still unanswered questions about how works of art come about in the way that they do and how visual arts transport us beyond the visual to ground meanings within full-bodily selves. To Sean and the artists represented in this provocative exhibition, thank you for taking us on this wonderfully provocative journey. Judith M. Burton Art and Art Education Program Director June 2013
Art that Iterates
Proposition What is an open art? Can we imagine an art that becomes itself as a condition of its being? If immanence, as a characteristic, were foregrounded, what might such an art look like? Normally, art resolves as a condition of its being called “art.” Like any other activity (say, cooking), a presumed endpoint draws us toward a conclusion (a meal). This end-driven motion implies that the act of making will cross over a kind of action threshold, beyond which everything will be different; in other words, the time for cooking will morph into the time for eating. In effect, the doing becomes done, and relationships— of maker to participant, for example—are changed, or resolved, as a consequence. But for artists this resolution feels like a loss; or less traumatically, like a compromise, or an acquiescence to something that is not organic to the practice of making art. That is, in the moment of its re-presentation, the picture, sculpture, or video becomes an artifact that exudes completion instead of immanence—it has been made and now
it simply is. As such, in the gallery or the museum, art can be passive and selfsatisfied, awaiting only an audience. But this stasis—this doneness—is false. That is, for artists the work of art is never-done. Perhaps this is because in the studio, in its moment of presence, the not-yet-resolved work becomes; but in the gallery the work we encounter is like a brick, and the vibrancy of the unpredictable, unfolding dynamic that we once knew so intimately, has been stilled. I don’t mean this in a mysterious or esoteric way, but rather in a pragmatic and ordinary way. I am trying to describe an experience that I believe is common to all of us who have ever lost ourselves in the flow of making, cooking, weaving, painting, or constructing anything—or even, in walking; or in a rich conversation that envelopes and suffuses you with ideas that appear to coalesce in the very talking and listening that brings them forth. In such conversations, rare as they may be, you suddenly hear yourself saying things you didn’t know you knew. And it’s exhilarating, a brief moment of knowing that learning never ends. At that instant don’t we suddenly realize, too, and
just as unpredictably, that the resonance and wonder of the conversation exists primarily in its unfolding? Which is to say that joy in the conversation does not precede the conversation, nor outlive it? And that holding this joy within yourself means also—and requires—holding it loosely? As artists we approach this contradiction as we might approach a kind of blankness—by calling out to it, falling into it, sometimes tentatively and sometimes passionately, but full of wonder and delight and fear and agony. As artists this fullness is the condition of doing art that echoes most profoundly, and keeps us longing for…what? What is the object of art’s longing? Can we speak of a longing that is not defined by an end-point? Can such openness, this empty fullness, this evolving, not-yet-final condition, be sustained? Maxine Green and John Dewey (among others) argue that there is a way of knowing and doing that is rooted in just this kind of openness—an ever-new becoming; an immanent, exploratory unfolding that releases the imagination— and that as human beings we strive after
this kind of knowing as we make and remake our lives. Indeed, I would argue that we long for this kind of knowing and doing as a necessary and intuitive, maybe even a fundamental, condition of our existence. But back again in the world we recognize the closure of our work. That is, again and again we realize that through our own actions—our desire to finalize our art—we succumb to the worldly insistence that knowing become objectified, and narrowly instrumentalized, that it be good for something, or easy to hold. And we satisfy ourselves with an art that is finished. Is there a doing that remains undone? Goal of the Exhibit My goal is to describe and explore a space of constant openness, a space between doing and undoing—a space that seems to be a condition of my life as an artist. I want to argue that playfully entering this space opens to ways of knowing that are full of potential for making new relationships in the world, and that this potential is available to all of us, whether we call ourselves artists or not.
I hope that the objects you encounter in the gallery (and in the pages of this catalog) prompt a reconsideration of the notion of the artifact itself, and smear the boundaries between viewer/participant, art/non-art, and mediate/immediate. And I hope that in the spaces between these dichotomies you might glimpse, if only fleetingly, this open unfolding that I am trying to describe, this becoming, and perhaps even encounter it as an evolving condition of our being. We are crossing into a new age. We hesitate to leave anything behind— and perhaps we don’t have to—but moving fluently in our time calls for new understandings of participating, learning, and doing. I am deeply honored and indebted to all the artists who have so generously given of their time and energy to join me in this exploration. Thank you! Sean Justice Curator, Artist, Educator
LLERY MACY ART GA
ES T A R E T T A H T T R I A , 2012 SEpTEMbER 4 -JuS28 tiC e Cur a ted by Sea n
Exploring changE as a condition of thE artistâ€™s way of knowing, making, and doing.
Kathleen J Graves
GĂŠraldine de Haugoubart
Nate Larson & Marni Shindelman
List of Works
Daniel Temkin Beatriz Albuquerque
13 Jordan Seiler
GĂŠraldine de Haugoubart
Nate Larson & Marni Shindelman
MACY ART GALLERY
Daniel Temkin Kathleen Graves
Sina Haghani Daniel Iglesia
Jackie Pavlik Sina Haghani Ethan Ham
Doran Massey Richard Jochum
Beatriz Albuquerque LIBERAcTION, 2012. Video animation, continuous loop; 3 minutes. In this concrete text video, I hope that the viewer thinks of Marcuse’s view of liberation—that is, the experience of a work of art carries the potential for a revolution that liberates. The video also possesses a twist on Foucault’s idea that power and surveillance are embedded in structure itself.
Kathleen J Graves Garden Bot_Wall, 2011. Archival pigment ink on water color paper; 90 x 66 inches. Artificial life populates a garden of pink roses, emerging in a subtly dystopian pattern. Combining gardens with technologyâ€”and adding visual evidence of the botsâ€”implies that the process of discovery and scientific creation can either help the environment or become a threat to it.
Between the robot and nanotech, I have imagined the Bots. I see them as intelligent creatures with individual agency. The Bot Studies come together as found-object beings who ask us to consider the imbalance between humans and nature. Bot Studies, 2012. Four figures; found materials, circuits, electronics; approx. 5 to 12 inches high.
Erol Gunduz One Thing Led to Another: 3D Sketches, 2012. Eleven sketches; plaster powder & cyanoacrylate with white spray-paint; approx. 7 x 3 x 2 inches each. This piece extends a sketching process I have been working with during the past year. My focus was on intuitively exploring the forms. I started with a blocky sketch made in 3D space (the lowest form on the wall). Then I duplicated and transformed it. And then I repeated the process. With each iteration I tried to push the sketch in a direction that was dormant in its previous state. Two tangents emerged, represented by the two evolving lines of objects that arc upwards from the lowest and most central object on the wall. The process was as intuitive as I could have made it.
Sina Haghani Me in Progress, 2012. Algorithmic animation on video; continuous loop. This work transfers identity into abstraction. The process started with asking whether people were reminded of someone else when they saw me. I then took photographs of those other people, who were strangers to me. Me in Progress is continuously modified by those perceptions. The transformations between the recombined portraits stands for that ephemeral state of being that constantly redefines our subjective selves.
Unconscious, 2012. Video text, continuous loop; 30 seconds. By escaping from the physical limits of the art object, Unconscious explores unknown, or unperceived, concepts. This exploration defines a state of mind and celebrates a new awareness of context. With this work Iâ€™d like to break down the culturally determined, artificial distinctions between art and life.
the thing that was just added to your unconscious the thing that just left your unconscious
Ethan Ham Self-Portrait, 2006. Internet-based search algorithm; presented on Apple iMac. Self-Portrait is an automated search through the millions of photos that have been uploaded to Flickr.com. The project uses facial recognition software to (incorrectly) identify photos containing a face that it believes matches my face.
Les Belles Infidèles, 2011. Internet-based translations of a story by Benjamin Rosenbaum; presented on Apple iMac. Les Belles Infidèles begins with a short story by Benjamin Rosenbaum, written specifically for the project. The story was translated and re-translated into a variety of languages. Any individual version of the story might have been translated several different times, so the variations became a branching tree of evolving versions. The translations were by humans instead of by automated software. In this project I wanted to explore the compounding mutations of the story brought about by the translators’ attempts to make it work in different languages and cultures.
GĂŠraldine de Haugoubart Shiprock, 2012. Archival pigment ink on transparent film; approx. 60 x 44 inches. This photograph is a window onto my memory of my first encounter with the American West and Native American culture as a young, European, visual artist. The use of transparent film reflects my thinking on the coexistence of openness, grandeur, sparseness, and spirituality.
Daniel Iglesia Older Effigies, 2012. Real-time video remix software with sound; Kinect. Older Effigies uses the gallery-goer as an object to trace the passage of time. The Kinect isolates the personâ€™s image and then plots delayed and fragmented copies in 3D space. On screen, the illusion of spatial depth represents the passage of time.
Richard Jochum Offering, 2011. Interactive video; face recognition software; computer with webcam; programming by Kevin Bleich. This video installation shows a person holding out a chalice and offering a host. As the audience passes by, the image is activated by facial recognition software, and the hand reaches out to the viewer. Although interactive, it is impossible to receive; consequently, the offering continues.
Nate Larson & Marni Shindelman A Portrait of Rudy Giuliani, 2009. Produced for ConfluxCity, New York. Inkjet composite print as document of on-site performance.
On September 20, 2009, we created a large-scale portrait of Rudy Giuliani in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, by walking a course of GPS coordinates with a group of participants. The physical space of the park necessitated variations in our planned route. For example, we had to navigate around children playing Frisbee, sunbathers, and touch football players. The resulting image was created by tracking our progress through the park with a Boost mobile phone linked to a website called InstaMapper, which uses a Google Maps platform.
A Portrait of Dick Cheney, Who Bears a Striking Resemblance to my Father, 2010. Produced for the Houston Center for Photography. Inkjet composite print as document of on-site performance. On September 11, 2010, we created a large-scale portrait of Dick Cheney in Houston, Texas, by walking a course of GPS coordinates with a group of participants. The resulting image was created using a Garmin Hiker GPS to record our actual coordinates, which were then plugged into Google Maps.
Doran Massey Pretzels, 2012. Plastic conduit, sound manipulation software, computer and microphone. Open and closed pipes form loops. The closed loop repeats, the open loop fades away. Both are subject to environmental modulations. The sounds come from everywhere and are processed in real time by the microphone, computer, speakers, pipes and the room.
Sherry Mayo Not My Indigenous Habitatâ€”Wanna Hang Out? 2011. Collage on giant magnet, magnetized wall paint; 20 x 60 inches. This work is an alternative contemporary landscape. It can perhaps be seen as an internalization of our biosphereâ€”expressed through drawing, painting, and digital imaging. It is a portal for the viewer to access a parallel layer of reality. It might be an unnamable place, but it reveals the conflict of our consciousness of space and of the non-verbal.
Robin Michals A History of the 20th Century: 1916: Mr. Peanut, 2007; 1930: Hostess Twinkies, 2006; 1964: Fruit Loops, 2007. Pigment ink on watercolor paper; 16 x 20 inches. July 31, 1964: Six days earlier, Andy Warhol had filmed Empire from the 41st floor of the Time-Life building, and, from the moon, Ranger 7 had sent back the analog photos that would become the first digitally enhanced pictures. I was in Bound Brook, New Jersey, celebrating my grandfather’s 59th birthday, eating devil’s food cake made from a Betty Crocker mix. As a child, I ate pop tarts for breakfast, Fluffernutters for lunch, and TV dinners. At night, I spent hours describing the ads I had seen on TV to my mother who worked in consumer marketing. Each of the prints in this series consists of a color photograph and a “drawing” that is a rearrangement of the photograph. That is, I use the photograph as the raw material out of which the drawing is made. This transformation is a metaphor for the transformation of daily life into history.
Jackie Pavlik YOU, 2012. Oil on canvas and augmented reality video. The subject of this work is human trafficking and modern day slavery. I want to explore the way that we are all, in a sense, complicit in the social structures that permit such situations to remain viable in our world. Much of my creative work arrives while other people sleep. And though I am interested in exploring simple forms and the resonance of patterns, such as the unfurling symmetries of faces and the body, this piece goes toward artmaking with a conscience.
Nandita Raman Remembering Absent Meaning, 2012. Archival pigment ink prints, acrylic mirrors; each approx. 20 x 24 inches. Bristlecone pine trees atop the White Mountains in California have grown for more than 4,500 years in the cold, dry weather, while the soil around them erodes every hour. Over time, small portions of soil roll down the mountain, leaving another rock face barren. Language, like the roots of the Bristlecone, binds our amorphous thoughts with words, fixing meaning and leaving the indescribable to disappear. This process of simultaneously locating and losing occurs in all systems of classification. With this project I am asking how such systems are made. The mirrors reflect the viewerâ€”the interpreter of the photographâ€”in the act of looking. This shifts the attention from the image to the self: the bearer of meaning, the indispensable participant.
Photos: Stepanka Horalkova
Bill Schuck Np, 2012. Sheetrock, grass seedlings; 8 x 4 feet. Np conjures the chemical element neptunium, a by-product of nuclear reactors and plutonium production. Its great mass makes neptunium the first element to cross the threshold between naturally occurring elements and those that are man-made. As neptunium breaks down and sheds particles, it leaves its identity and its singular existence behind to be absorbed back into earthly matter.
Jordan Seiler Billboard Advertising Takeover by PublicAdCampaign New York, 2010; New York, 2011; Paris, 2012 (Photo by OX); Atlanta, Georgia, 2010. Four pigment ink prints; 16 x 20 inches. PublicAdCampaign acts on the assumption that public interaction with our shared public environment, and the physical manipulation of that environment, is an important act of citizenryâ€”an act that ties individuals to their surroundings and to others whom they share those spaces with. Outdoor advertising attempts to monopolize public discourse by promoting a singular commercial vision of public space. As such, it stands as the most significant obstruction to an open and democratic public visual environment. Through my work with PublicAdCampaign I am challenging the preeminence of outdoor advertising in public space. This ongoing project interrogates the publicprivate relationship in the hope of improving our public spaces and the cities in which we live. Suitcase: How to Takeover a Telephone Booth, 2012. Suitcase, foam rubber, video, and homemade tools.
Jordan Seiler & Keith Haskel (director) Spending time with NYSAT, 2011. Video documentary; 2min 37seconds.
Matt Siber Billboard Vinyl #1, 2012. Used billboard vinyl; approx. 12 feet high as installed. This installation brings used, outdoor billboard vinyls into the context of an art space. I want to disarm the public messaging system in three ways: (1) By suspending the vinyl from its center, the folds and drapes obscure the message; (2) Its suspension gives a sense of inertness, like a handkerchief dangling uselessly from between two pinched fingers; (3) As a three-dimensional object, the vinyl takes a form that is incongruous with the original purpose of the 2D messaging system.
Felisia Tandiono Haze State: ___, 2011-2012. Acrylic sphere, moss, fern, steam distiller kit, spices, fragrance pouches, distilled water, ice, cheese cloth, notebooks, glass bottles, hydrosols. Haze State: __ proposes to imagine historical and anthropological urban settings through a scent-sory tableau. Taking cues from a siteâ€™s existing smells, or aromas, the work develops a scent cartography that juxtaposes the environmentâ€™s past with new scents distilled from materials found in the present. The installation in this exhibition is a remix of the laboratory and distillation apparatus that extracts the scents from the environment. Rather than recreate a functioning lab, this installation offers a conversational space as part of a documented experience.
Daniel Temkin Chromatic Infestation, 2012. Software, installed on Mac Mini with 22â€? monitor. The software visualizes its own source code. Words beginning with R appear as red circles, G as green circles, and B as blue circles, like bacterial cultures across a white plane. The number of times that R, G, or B words appear in the code determines the size of the red, green, or blue circles. New lines of code using words starting with these letters are randomly injected into the programâ€™s source code. As the source code changes, the new lines are highlighted in the black bar to the left on the display. The code grows like a tumor, slowing its execution until the program crashes, or until one color comes to dominate the visual field, which triggers the software to reset.
Glitchometry, 2011 â€“ 2012. Four inkjet prints on backlight film, in light boxes; 16 x 22 inches and 16 x 28 inches. Each picture begins as a black square or a black circle. The image file is then imported into audio editing software, which treats the file as if it were sound. Changes are made to the part of the file that image editing software would consider to be the color channels, transforming the image. But because the sound software doesnâ€™t visualize data in the same way that image software does, there is no way to monitor the visual effect of each transformation. As I work I get a sense of what each effect does, but I have no precise control over the result. The process feels like wrestling with the computer.
Penelope Umbrico Suns from Sunsets from Flickr (from Flickr), 2012. Twenty-five inkjet prints, 8.5 x 11 inches, unframed; 15 chromogenic prints, framed, approx. 5 x 7 inches. Row 1: People taking pictures of Suns from Sunsets from Flickr. Row 2: The pictures people took of Suns from Sunsets from Flickr. Row 3: People taking pictures of people in front of Suns from Sunsets from Flickr. Row 4: The pictures people took of people in front of Suns from Sunsets from Flickr. Row 5: People taking pictures of the pictures of people taking pictures of people in front of Suns from Sunsets from Flickr.
Part of the beauty of taking a picture of a sunset is that while you are doing it, probably a million other people are doing it as wellâ€”at exactly the same time. I love this idea of collective practice; an act we all engage in despite knowing that millions have come before us, and that millions will come after us. Photographing a sunset asserts an individual point of viewâ€”a single subjective vantage point. But this project challenges that idea and considers, instead, the power of a collective act of seeing.
List of Works 1. Beatriz Albuquerque, LIBERAcTION, 2012. Video animation, continuous loop; 3 minutes.
14. Doran Massey, Pretzels, 2012. Plastic conduit, sound manipulation software, computer and microphone.
2. Kathleen Graves, Garden Bot_Wall, 2011. Archival pigment ink on water color paper; 90 x 66 inches.
15. Sherry Mayo, Not My Indigenous Habitat—Wanna Hang Out? 2011. Collage on giant magnet, magnetized wall paint; 20 x 60 inches.
3. Kathleen Graves, Bot Studies, 2012. Four figures; found materials, circuits, electronics; approx. 5 to 12 inches high. 4. Erol Gunduz, One Thing Led to Another: 3D Sketches, 2102. Eleven sketches; plaster powder & cyanoacrylate with white spray-paint; approx. 7 x 3 x 2 inches each. 5. Sina Haghani, Me in Progress, 2012. Algorithmic animation on video; continuous loop. 6. Sina Hagahni, Unconscious, 2012. Video text, continuous loop; 30 seconds. 7. Ethan Ham, Self-Portrait, 2006. Internet-based search algorithm; presented on Apple iMac. 8. Ethan Ham, Les Belles Infideles, 2011. Internet-based translations of a story by Benjamin Rosenbaum; presented on Apple iMac. 9. Géraldine de Haugoubart, Shiprock, 2012. Archival pigment ink on transparent film; approx. 60 x 44 inches. 10. Daniel Iglesia, Older Effigies, 2012. Real-time video remix software with sound; Kinect. 11. Richard Jochum, Offering, 2011. Interactive video; face recognition software; computer with webcam; programming by Kevin Bleich. 12. Nate Larson & Marni Shindelman, A Portrait of Rudy Giuliani, Produced for ConfluxCity, New York, 2009. Inkjet composite print as document of on-site performance. 13. Nate Larson & Marni Shindelman, A Portrait of Dick Cheney, Who Bears a Striking Resemblance to my Father, Produced for the Houston Center for Photography, 2010. Inkjet composite print as document of on-site performance.
16, 17, 18. Robin Michals, A History of the 20th Century: 1916 Mr. Peanut, 2007; 1930 Hostess Twinkies, 2006; 1964 Fruit Loops, 2007. Pigment ink on watercolor paper; 16 x 20 inches. 19. Jackie Pavlik, YOU, 2012. Oil on canvas and augmented reality video. 20. Nandita Raman, Remembering Absent Meaning, 2012. Archival pigment ink prints, acrylic mirrors; each approx. 20 x 24 inches. 21. Bill Schuck, Np, 2012. Sheetrock, grass seedlings; 8 x 4 feet. 22. Jordan Seiler, Billboard Advertising Takeovers by PublicAdCampaign, New York, 2010; New York, 2011; Paris, 2012 (Photo by OX); Atlanta, Georgia, 2010. Four pigment ink prints; 16 x 20 inches. 23. Jordan Seiler, Suitcase: How to Takeover a Telephone Booth, 2012. Suitcase, foam rubber, video, and homemade tools. 24. Jordan Seiler & Keith Haskel (director), Spending time with NYSAT, 2011. Video documentary; 2min 37seconds. 25. Matt Siber, Billboard Vinyl #1, 2012. Used billboard vinyl; approx. 12 feet high as installed. 26. Felisia Tandiono, Haze State: ___, 2011-2012. Acrylic sphere, moss, fern, steam distiller kit, spices, fragrance pouches, distilled water, ice, cheese cloth, notebooks, glass bottles, hydrosols. 27. Daniel Temkin, Chromatic Infestation, 2012. Software, installed on Mac Mini with 22” monitor. 28. Daniel Temkin, Glitchometry, 2011-2012. Four inkjet prints on backlight film, in light boxes; 16 x 22 inches & 16 x 28 inches. 29. Penelope Umbrico, Suns from Sunsets from Flickr (from Flickr), 2012. Twenty-five inkjet prints, 8.5 x 11 inches, unframed; 15 chromogenic prints, framed, approx. 5 x 7 inches.
This publication has been made possible through the generous support of The Myers Foundations.
Photos: Background - Matt Siber; Top row - Jason Caserta; Bottom row - Marta Cabral
Bot Study 2, Kathleen Graves, 2012 Photo: Kathleen Graves
525 West 120th Street, New York, NY 10027 2013 ÂŠ The President and Trustees of Teachers College Columbia University