So I still haven’t had a chance to reflect on my time at ICI, mostly because I’ve been getting ready for my next exhibition: Debating Through the Arts. The exhibition is organized by Jerri Allyn and Inez Bush and opens this Saturday (6-10pm) at 18th Street Art Center in Santa Monica. Come see my multimedia installation, i Scream LA! made in collaboration with Beth Peterson and Trinidad Ruiz. It will evolve all summer as we’ll be collecting videotaped interviews with residents of LA’s diverse neighborhoods, in exchange for ice cream. Let us know if you want to be interviewed by our puppets. Come on… everyone loves puppets and wants ice cream in the summer!
After a crazy couple of weeks packed with making new work, the show is finally up and ready for the public. Well, almost. There is still the matter of sound to sort out today, and a shelf/plumb bob situation to figure out. Oh yeah, and I might move a computer into the lab to show a couple of digital videos. But, plenty of time right? We got at least 7 hours to get it all in there.
The work is mostly collaborative in nature, so many of the works share authorship across the Rise Industries membership. Contributors are:
Jeremy J. Quinn
with additional drawings provided by Ashley Moore
After Sarah had to return to Boston (sniff, we miss you!) Mike Feldman came by to scope things out, work on some texts, and plan his contribution. I also went around town shooting photos of Tim’s Mappy Facts – created about LA just for the show!
Some final videos were exported, the work got hung and photographed, I built some little foam-core surrounds for a couple of things, and finally figured out how to get my Quartz Composer patch into video. Used a work-around for that, still need to figure out how to export directly.
As the ICI staff wrapped up brochures, we prepped our print for the back of them – a lino-cut with text that summed up all our works pretty well. We spent last night printing these, so you get a free print as part of the brochure!
I got to get back to my final tasks – hope to see you there tonight!
All of us at Rise Industries would like to heartily thank the staff at ICI that we worked with throughout the residency – it was a real pleasure to work with you all, to have the run of the space, and basically be supported in doing whatever it was we wanted to do. So, Lise, Elaina, Gina, Jojo, Steve and especially Anna (I must have bothered her with a question about every half hour over a period of almost two weeks), thanks so much for letting us into your space!
Here are a few more photos and info about what Rise Industries was up to on Day 6-7 of the ICI Residency. Today, Friday, is the final install day for the exhibition, and Jeremy, Michele, Mike, and John are still at ICI, but I’ve returned to Boston, and already miss it!
These two photos above, are from the filmstrip The Air About Us; a 1959 filmstrip for grammar school students, about a range of ideas relating to air and air pressure. The slides are beautifully photographed, oddly diagrammatic and some with the same awkward humor you see in those above. The filmstrip, which I watched without audio, has a wierd tonal contrast between pedagogy and poetry, science and spirituality. It’s an experimental text and image work in itself.
I discovered what I thought was the empty filmstrip canister on my first day at ICI. A photo of the title on top of the canister is featured in exhibition. But, because it’s such a short filmstrip, it was actually clinging so close to the sides of its canister that I really thought the canister was empty. The last day I was there, I happened to open the canister again and realized the film had been there all along…
The Air About Us , the phrase alone relates to the work we did during the residency. The air about us could be the representation of distance using two dimensions; the uncanny quality of our 3d stereographic portraits. The air about us could be the cultural distance that travel photography can put between the subject and photographer. Or, it could be about misrepresentations of sizes and distances of continents in global projection maps. It could also be about the contrast of closeness and distance we encounter in video chatting. Also, the air about us, is about us; Rise Industries. It’s about our personal relationships and histories and the roles we organically adopt within the collaborative, and challenges we face as we make art as a collaborative with members on opposite coasts and more than one continent. Working with Rise at ICI was a fantastic experience and I want to thank Rise and ICI, so very much!
Michele Jaquis, Jeremy Quinn, and Sarah Rushford in the ICI Lab
Me video chatting with Boris Margolin in Boston, showing him around ICI. Time clock and multi-time zone punch card piece at the right.
John Kim and Michele Jaquis discussing conversion techniques for Pacific Standard Time to Metric Standard Time.
Yesterday was a blur. We got into the space around 11 (Michele and Sarah) and Noon (Jeremy, after working 4 hours on other projects) and set about wrapping up some of the projects so we could start laying things out in the gallery. Technical difficulties ruled the early afternoon – trying to get video from animated gifs proved problematic. There seems to be no getting my Quartz Composer files out of that software and into video. Michele crashed her whole Final Cut suite and had to reinstall. But these little problems were not disasters, just challenges.
I put the whole video operation on pause for a while and went back to one of my globe projection drawings, translating from one projection view of the world into another projection drawing, layered and shifted. It is basically a globular projection of the world with a cylindrical (?) projection overlaid on it. But I drew the cylindrical projection in eight segments instead of twelve, so I had to interpolate the continents to work with the new divisions. I went back to that off and on over the course of the day and finally got it done by the time we left.
John Kim came by yesterday, and explained to Michele how his New Time (also known as Metric Standard Time) works, and how we can convert from our times zones (ICI time, Pacific Time, Eastern Time, India Time) to his Metric time. Its a little complicated, but she went back over all our time cards (we have been punching in and out each time we go to ICI) and filled in the Metric times for each stamp. We also had a skype visitation by Boris Margolin, who Sarah toured around the space via laptop. Boris and John’s New Time App was installed on Michele’s iphone, and tomorrow (today?) we will figure out how that one will be presented.
Several videos got output to DVD finally. Two simultaneous walks – in Munich and LA. A rotating lens reflecting the ICI courtyard canopy, two Foucault’s pendulums, again in Munich and LA, two days and two nights in Boston and LA, two cross country trips, and finally the stereoscopic videos made it onto DVD. There was a lot of testing projections for the 3d stereoscopic photographs, and we finally got just the right method of showing those.
We took a short break for dinner and got back to work. By the time we punched out, we had been there around 12 hours.
Here are some images from the past couple of days…
While Jeremy and I were at our crit group meeting, Sarah spent the morning transcribing and re-transcribing text from The Island of the Day Before using carbon paper. The process allowed for an ever evolving abstraction to occur, similar in concept (although not aesthetically) to the degradation that occurs after a document has been photocopied too many times. Today I will attempt to translate the final abstraction into legible text again, without seeing the original sentence.
Right now Sarah and I are printing photos that we have shot over the last few days, as well as some that Nicole has sent us. Nicole’s will be juxtaposed with mine and some carbon copied text. This is one she shot of our father describing his travels between timezones to her students.
I just finished a 2 week recording project with balloon artist Addi Somekh. He has traveled the world making balloon hats for people of all walks of life, and recently starred in the reality TV show The Unpoppables. The purpose of this project was to develop the balloon drum set as a viable, recordable musical instrument, and to create a collection of balloon drum loops and samples. We had several drummers come to play it and offer their input as the kit took a new shape and sound of it’s own. The clip here features George Bernardo playing the balloon drum set as I accompany him with an original composition on piano and synth.
Above is the result of an experiment we carried out at ICI today. We made 3d sterographic portraits! This is one of a sculpture in the garden at ICI.
Jeremy named The Island of the Day Before by Umberto Eco as a book that is influential to the ideas we will work with during the residency. I read the book years ago, and decided to re-read it, beginning on my journey from Boston to LA. I’m struck by the richness of the text, and have been marking passages I plan to excerpt for work at ICI. The humor, and ideas of parallel experience emerge as I read. Jeremy, Michele and I are busy with the work of collaborating, unearthing an archive, making interdisciplinary work, and planning an exhibition, simultaneously, and I can’t speak for them, but I am glad to have this text at my side to ground my thoughts and ideas.
We’ve received virtual visitation in the form of art work from fellow Risers Nicole Jaquis and Tim Devin today! Nicole sent two very striking documentary photos of her father visiting Hardiwar India, where Nicole lives. We plan to pair a print of one of the photos, (a shot of Marty, Nicole and Michele’s father, jet-lagged and asleep ) with an excerpt from The Island of the Day Before.
Tim Devin’s work arrived in the mail this morning. It’s a project called BBC Broadsides. These are posters that represent statistical maps with information about Los Angeles demographics and water supply. They will be posted throughout the city. Photos of the posters in the city will be exhibited at the 10/10∆8 Exhibition. More on Tim’s project, another version of which he completed in Boston, can be found here.
This morning at ICI we looked at grammar school film strips on a Dukane film strip projector and decided on a particularly apt frame to include in the exhibition. The film strip, entitled Space Travel A.D. 2000, includes a frame that shows a drawing of a boy on the beach and the caption reads “We know that the world is round, but we seldom sense that it really is.” Michele looks through the film strip titles in their cases below.
And now for something ALL of our readers can check out, no matter where you are located. I have a few experimental audio tracks in this great audio art show at 323 Projects, which is a phone number gallery hosting audio art, created and run by Tucker Neel. So all you have to do to listen, is dial (323) 843-4652!
Call now! Call later! Call sixteen times a day! Serious, do that, because you will get a different artist every 15 minutes so there will be a new piece to listen to each time you call. There is also a schedule posted, if you want to try and hit a specific artist.
Today Sarah Rushford arrived and moved in to the Lab with us. Getting cozy in there. She and Michele did a tour of the facilities, and then hunted around the physical archive for some optical toys to play around with. They pulled some opaque projectors, a Super 8 Cartridge Projector (!), and some stereoscope viewers and slides. They started working on stereoscopic video… hope to get some of that working tomorrow.
I stopped by the art supply store to get a big beam compass so I could complete my Graticule drawing – the arc centers were going way beyond any tool I had around and the string trick wasn’t so precise. I also picked up some copper leaf. Will see where that ends up. Ran into some problems while drawing latitude – apparently you cant divide an arc into 9 segments using geometry. I spend a while stuck on that and did some research, then resorted to measuring the arc with a string, pulling the string straight to get a line, and dividing that line. Then I used that spacing to divide up the arc (transferred by divider). Whew. Drawing the latitude arcs is turning out to be slow, so I hope to finish that tomorrow.
Last night, after getting home from ICI, I started messing around with Quartz Composer and a plug-in for it called Rutt Etra 2.0.1, which is a digital version of the video synthesizer of the same name from the 1970s. It will basically create 3D scan-line renderings of images, with the Z-axis heights based on how bright parts of the image are. Took me a long time to figure out the simple syntax for Composer, and get anything to come out of it – but then, it was super easy to manipulate once running. Not sure yet what I will do with this effect, but I like it.
That last image there is based on the video I posted yesterday, of shadows on the fountain sculpture.
Michele and I spent most of the day working in the lab at ICI today, and doing a bit of research. I pulled a few books about longitude, mapping and a great science text called The Study of The Physical World that had some explanations of the different map projections of the world. I decided to try drawing one of these, using only a compass, divider and straightedge (no measuring). Actually, I wanted to draw only the graticule – the grid of latitude and longitude. Naturally, I started with the easiest to construct by hand – The Globular Projection. It’s basically two hemisphere views (as seen in old Atlases and earth science texts) laid out in circles tangent to each other. All was going great, until I had to figure out how to find the centers of the lines of longitude. Took me a bit to learn how to construct an arc that will pass through three given points, but once I had that down, it was on with the repetition. I still have the latitude lines to lay out tomorrow. I am hoping my precision gets better as this goes on – my lines were pretty fuzzy, and I had to improvise a couple of long compasses for the center points that went way off the page. String worked best.
Around late afternoon I noticed the light coming in through the trees was pretty amazing, so I went around the place shooting short videos wherever the shadows landed. Will work them into something else down the road I am sure.
Michele spent the day editing video that was shot over ten years ago on two different cross country trips (flying W->E in July 1999 and driving E->W in June 2000). She also remade the timecards to include a column for John Kim’s Metric Standard Time. We’ll have to wait for John to arrive to figure out the conversion.