Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Robert Irwin

Hi all - 
I wanted to post a few thoughts about Robert Irwin's work. Brian and I flew to San Diego to finish our books in peace by the sea (it's extraordinary to be out of the snow, but the books aren't finished...!) and, especially, to see Robert Irwin's retrospective at MCASD, which includes five new pieces.  For those who know and love Irwin's work, it is a real treat. In the first building you find some of his very early (1955-60) expressionist paintings, the line paintings that followed, one of his dot paintings and one of the disks. I had seen a disk previously, but this one was different. Whereas the other disk I saw in LA (and in images) was metallic (spray-painted an egg-shell colour), this one is made of plastic and is transparent. There is a faint line of darker paint across the disk which gives the impression of a line. The extraordinary aspect of the disk is its transparency - as you step away from it it fades into the visual field, moving into the wall even as it moves out of it - a kind of pulsing in and of perception. It's extraordinary. In the same room, Irwin had a triangular section covered by a scrim, to create something like another wall. I say "something like" because the feeling of these srim walls is very uncanny - at first all you perceive is a strangeness in the environment. Something's not quite right, but you can't pinpoint what it is. As you approach it, you realize you have no sense of depth - it's as though the room were swimming in a kind of white texture. The wall feels soft to vision, there but not there. One amazing thing about it is how it gets people interactive - talking to one another about the strangeness of the not-wallness of the wall. I noticed that in LA as well, where there was a similar scrim room. Downstairs, there's another series of scrims, equally interesting, but the most magical aspect of the exhibition for me happens on the other side of the street. In that gallery, there are three rooms. One room is called Who's Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue, taking Barnett Newmann's painting as a point of departure. It's very hard to describe this exquisite work, but I'll try: You walk into a very large space with a high ceiling and in it are three large squares of colour on the floor (maybe 20 by 20 feet) - one red, one blue, one yellow. Directly above these squares, which are shiny and glossy (enamel, I believe), there are three more squares (these ones perhaps 20 feet in the air). So you have these open non-cubes of colour that give a sense of an open enclosure where the middle space - where your perception usually occurs, is open. As you move around these non-rooms of colour, the strangest thing happens: you begin to see reflections of complimentarity in the colours as well as in the windows of the space reflected. You're looking down at the room upside down reflected and the white windows above-below you are suddenly purple, green and orange! Impossible to explain, really, but the feeling of it is the best part: you are inundated with colour, the affective tone one of continual transformation. It's relational without trying to be, engaging, complex and extraordinarily simple at the same time. There's a ludic element too: looking into the colour, you see reflections of the other people both right-side up and upside down (depending on whether you are looking at a reflection of the reflection of the square above you or whether you are looking straight into the reflection of the square at your feet). Spectacular.
When talking to Irwin today, we discussed many aspects of his work, but most resonant for me was his belief that you cannot plan how art maps itself out. Art is site-conditioned for Irwin: it becomes-with an environment that proposes to art its unfolding. 
Brian and I will try to write something up about this for publication in our upcoming online journal Inflexions. 
More soon!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Woven Thoughts

My name is Maralynn Cherry. I am an installation artist working in a variety of media. I am also a curator at the Visual Arts Centre of Clarington in Ontario and teach two studio courses in Cultural Studies at Trent University. See images already posted . I was intending to post a sample video piece that works with light and shadow as my hands move....weaving thoughts....(some technical difficulties to overcome) I am interested in the more performative aspects contained in all visual work as the purity of gesture is in constant transition. Raw unspun wool has served as a primary substance, symbolic of the unfolding of thought. Visually it becomes a part of my paintings, sculpture and felt monad constructions Recent work is very layered as text for voice, sound, dance and projection will become a performance piece. I am looking forward to meeting each of you and have enjoyed reading each of the postings. Tonight I am fully engaged with readings from Subjectivities;for Better and for Worse. Years ago I curated an exhibition called Dream Ecology and I find this text of particular it elaborates and raises further questions that I was grappling with at that Guattari mentions 'ecologic factors in human subjectivity.' I feel compelled to overlay this text like a transparency over my curatorial thoughts as I realize this project is still a continuum. I look forward to meeting you all and reading further postings. Erin the images just posted are wonderful. The imaginary begins to witness invisible bodies dancing through cloth.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Readings now available!

Hello all.
Troy and I have uploaded the readings for Into the Folds to the Sense Lab hub.
You can download the readings from the documents sector anytime at your own convenience.

If you don't have access to the Sense Lab hub, you can click on the link below or copy/paste it into your web browser.

Simply click on the download file now button and the zipped file will download automatically.
All the readings have been zipped into one file of about 20 Meg.
I've tested it and it works fine. It took me about 2 minutes to download.
The zipped file will be accessible for the next 7 days and then it's flushed from their system.
Enjoy the readings!
Warm regards from Montreal.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

micro logics of sensation in sound

Hi everyone,
I am Christoph and I am also a PhD Candidate in the Humanities Program at Concordia University Montréal. I am working on audio interfaces in interactive performance arts. My wish is to delve into the merge of movement of thoughts and matter through the scope of electronic music. The multi-layered ecologies sprawling off these creative fields of becoming constantly fascinate my sensing mind. I worked quite a bit on electronic music (foremost minimal house and dubstep) and I am a DJ myself. To have a deeper insight into the technologies of audio interfaces and their application in performances is what I am focusing on at the moment. I regard it as a great gift to be part of Into the Folds and I am enjoying the very generous and warm -hearted atmosphere at the Sense Lab. I can't wait to meet you all in person. 
À bientot!