Archive for September, 2006

Sasha Petrenko

“We House” at Southern Exposure Gallery, 2006

studies for “Pocket House”

Sasha Petrenko’s latest architecturally inspired project is titled Pocket-house. This portable one-person shelter is built with a modified boat building technique consisting of laminated strips of plywood. Conveniently, the structure is perfectly scaled to fit on top of Petrenko’s 1989 Acura Legend. The structure is then transported to various locations in Northern California where the artist temporarily resides and photographically documents her experience inside Pocket-house. The minimal yet comfortable structure features light and sound systems, plus sleeping and storage areas that are powered by either a 12 volt power generated by the Acura Legend or 120 volt supplied by her friendly host.  Inspired by her experiences as an artist attempting to afford a home of her own, Petrenko’s photographs of her project comment on the basic needs of daily living through alternative means, exploring ideas about place, shelter and affordable housing.



September 27, 2006 at 7:16 pm Leave a comment

Marjetica Potrc: “Urgent Architecture”

Slovenian artist Marjetica Potrc discovers beauty in the unplanned urban landscapes of shantytowns, trailer parks, and barrios. In her installations in various art institutions across the globe, she sends instructions to the musum staff on how to build her installations–often inspired by a type of shelter found halfway across the world–out of local materials. Here she instructs/constructs a massive installation of housing units based on observations made of temporary shelters and gated communities in Caracas, the West Bank, and West Palm Beach.

Urgent Architecture


September 27, 2006 at 7:08 pm Leave a comment

Artists addressing “the archive” and also casual display tactics

In light of Adam’s “archive” installation portraying his first home away from home I mentioned a few artists that seem to relate in different ways:


21 production still21 production still

Fred Wilson

Commenting on his unorthodox artistic practice, Wilson has said that, although he studied art, he no longer has a strong desire to make things with his hands. “I get everything that satisfies my soul,” he says, “from bringing together objects that are in the world, manipulating them, working with spatial arrangements, and having things presented in the way I want to see them.” Thus, Wilson creates new exhibition contexts for the display of art and artifacts found in museum collections, along with wall labels, sound, lighting, and non-traditional pairings of objects. His installations lead viewers to recognize that changes in context create changes in meaning. While appropriating curatorial methods and strategies, Wilson maintains his subjective view of the museum environment and the works he presents. He questions—and forces the viewer to question—how curators shape interpretations of historical truth, artistic value, and the language of display, and what kinds of biases our cultural institutions express.

Gail Wight

Zoo Kit

wooden box, felt, text
test tubes, DNA in solution
6″ x 12″ x 18″

A small wooden box with racks of test tubes holds the DNA for land, air, and sea animals, the DNA for flora to sustain them, and the DNA for a zoo keeper. A tribute to Fluxus.

In attempts to understand thinking, I have:
made maps of various nervous systems, practiced art while under hypnosis, designed an artificial intelligence to read my tarot, read for hours to fish, conducted biochemical experiments on myself and others, executed medical illustrations in black velvet, worked on cognitive research projects, documented dissections of humans, dissected machines and failed to put most of them back together, freely made up vocabulary as needed, removed my teeth to model information systems, self-induced phobias concerning consciousness in the plant kingdom, donated my body to science and then requested it be returned, observed nerve development in vivo, choreographed synaptic responses, translated EEGs into music, conducted a cartesian exorcism on myself, and attempted to create cognitive models of my own confused state.

Rirkrit Tiravanija

Since the early 1990s, Tiravanija has explored a new aesthetic paradigm of interactivity. He has cooked and served food to his audiences, set up a recording studio in a museum, reconstructed his apartment inside a gallery for visitors’ use, corresponded via the Internet while on an American road trip with Thai students, and provided opportunities for numerous other everyday activities to occur within art spaces. Tiravanija is a catalyst; he creates situations in which visitors are invited to participate or perform. In turn, their shared experiences activate the artwork, giving it meaning and altering its form.

Mark Dion

In many of his works, Dion re-creates the categorization and exhibition practices of museums. In this piece, his concern is to explore how a subjective understanding of nature becomes established as history by a particular group of people at a particular time. The result is a fictive–or personal–view of history that reflects on the subjective and sometimes arbitrary nature of scientific methodology.

Mark Dion, Alexander Wilson-Studio, 1999, wooden structure, mixed media, 8 x 12 x 9ft. (installation view)

Mark Dion, Alexander Wilson-Studio, 1999, wooden structure, mixed media, 8 x 12 x 9ft. (installation view detail)

Mark Dion, New England Digs


Exhibition: “Art of the Encyclopedic”
at the Carnegie Museum, 2003

Art of the Encyclopedic is guest curated by Paul Vanouse, Assistant Professor of Art, University at Buffalo and features the works of digiatal artists Natalie Bookchin, Brian Collier, Julia Dzwonkoski, Omar and Carlos Estrada, Caroline Koebel, Jennifer and Kevin McCoy, Walid Raad, and Igor Vamos.

Art of the Encyclopedic is a meta-commentary on both exhibition curation as well as the historic function of the Carnegie Art Center (formerly the Carnegie Library). The exhibition is about classification, organization, categorization, archiving and public display. Furthermore, the exhibition is interested in displaying, in actual gallery space, qualities of contemporary information technologies, i.e. the world wide web, that tend toward exhaustive re-cataloging of existing information. For instance, many museum web-sites have hyperlinks to other museum collections, often creating recursive loops of references to one another so that our primary experience is of navigating linkages and information hierarchies and secondarily of the discreet information that they organize.

Art of the Encyclopedic is intended to highlight artworks that embody these systematic, hyper-rationalized processes and, of course, to further organize these works in the exhibition space. The works planned incorporate a variety of media including, photography, video, found-objects, text, and digital media. Read more…

Rebecca Bollinger

“Last Year by Color and Composition” 2002

A digital movie made from every picture stored on my computer during one years time – eBay photos, personal snapshots, search result pictures, work documentation, photos of drawings, travel pictures (mostly anonymous,) pie charts and graphs, quotes, maps and logos – organized by color and composition.
Rebecca Bollinger «Last Year by Color and Composition»

September 27, 2006 at 4:22 am 1 comment

Barcelona Inaccessible

40 people with disabilities use mobile phones to photograph every obstacle they come across on the city’s streets. By means of multimedia messages they create a map of inaccessible Barcelone on the internet…

September 13, 2006 at 4:19 pm Leave a comment

How to use this site

Welcome to the class website! I will be posting updates weekly, and adding new topics and examples of interesting things for you to consider. This site is a resource to get your juices flowing and come to terms with the myriad ways in which materials and concepts can be pulled together to create meaning and metaphor. I welcome comments, suggestions, and feedback on the content and hope everyone can contribute their own info to this archive during the semester (more on this later). This is an archive-in-progress and is by no means complete, but a start at creating conversation points and spurring your own investigation. Currently, there are fifty entries to browse, with lots of images.

How to navigate: This site is built as a blog, so those of you familiar with standard blogs will pick it up easily. You can browse the content in several ways:

  1. Scroll directly down the page to read entries. Recent ones are at the top, and older ones are at the end
  2. Choose a “category” at the right-hand column to get specific information
  3. Get class information, syllabus, and contact information at the top navigation bar
  4. Check out the art-related “links” also at the right-hand column to view other sites of interest, but aren’t necessarily related to the class content

NOTE: Each entry has a “more” link, that if clicked, will take you to a more extensive write-up complete with further images and informative links. Don’t forget to access these! Also, if scrolling down a page, click on the “previous entries” link to see older posts.

I’ll be showing my own work sometime during the semester, but if you are interested now you can view it at my website:

Looking forward to working with all of you this semester!

September 5, 2006 at 11:33 pm Leave a comment

Harness connections

Climbing harnesses:
Oustiti Chest Harness Focus Harness Momentum AL HarnessBrenin HarnessBod Harness Peak Harness Alpine Harness Corax Harness


September 5, 2006 at 1:45 am 4 comments

Anna Maltz

“Maggie, Daniell, Finley & Kaizen, San Francisco”, 2003, c-print, 13.5”x20”, ed. of 5.


September 5, 2006 at 1:32 am Leave a comment

Joseph Beuys

Capri Battery, 1985.

Informed by diverse sources, including German history, Shamanism, and Rudolf Steiner’s anthroposophy, Beuys’s unique outlook evolved throughout his career. Beuys later expanded his artistic definition to include “social sculpture” which resulted from public interaction and discussion. His work methods can best be seen in his showcases or glass cases containing objects found or created by him. Another essential feature of the exhibition are the artist’s own drawings, which he described as the “energy source” inspiring his work in other media. (more…)

September 5, 2006 at 1:01 am Leave a comment

Fred Sandback

“Untitled (Fourth of Ten Corner Constructions),” 1983
maroon and black acrylic yarn


September 4, 2006 at 10:08 pm Leave a comment

Fischli and Weiss: “The Way Things Go”

Peter Fischli and David Weiss, Film still from Der Lauf der Dinge (The Way Things Go), 1986; A film about a chain reaction

Peter Fischli and David Weiss have been working collaboratively since 1979, attempting to recreate on a human scale the states of order and balance that govern and inspire our lives. Their valiant, delicate, beautifully inept efforts to defy mobility, immobility, and gravity are documented in two photographic series titled Wursterie (Wurst Series) and Stiller Nachmittag (Quiet Afternoon), and their film Der Lauf der Dinge (The Way Things Go).

These artworks record the acrobatic and precarious arrangements of such household items as carrots, cheese graters, tires, clothes baskets, and chairs. The characteristics of these objects dictate their interaction, and signify their interdependency and equality. These characteristics and their visual relationships may be extended to symbolize the networks and systems that make up “ordered and civilized’ society. (more…)

September 4, 2006 at 8:31 pm Leave a comment

Sarah Sze

Unravel, 2005, Mixed media

Sze’s sculptures are flowing structures consisting of a conglomeration of small-scale household items that respond to and infiltrate the surrounding architecture. Like the information flow of the World Wide Web, her compositional language takes form by successively linking small bits of discrete information into a complex network. With an intensity born of a laborious patchwork technique that is at once painterly and sculptural, the interplay between individual components and overall structure allows Sze to explore the boundaries between art and everyday life. (more…)

September 4, 2006 at 8:20 pm 1 comment

bamboo scaffolding

Airy and lightweight-looking, bamboo scaffolding can reach great heights and creates an incredible outside structure for buildings.

Mumbai, India


September 4, 2006 at 8:10 pm Leave a comment

3-D timber frame views

Great diagrams showing timber frame construction in houses, including joinery and truss design. Handy for looking at examples of designing bracings and structures.

September 4, 2006 at 7:51 pm Leave a comment

The Martha Rosler Library

This project grew in part out of artist Martha Rosler’s space problem: she simply had too many books crowding her home and studio. They covered the shelves, piled on the floors, and cascaded down the stairs. We offered her a solution. We asked her if we could borrow her library for a while, to open to the public in the form of a reading room at the e-flux space on Ludlow street. As an artist’s library, her collection suggests multiple meanings and possibilities. She has constantly brought the familiar under closer examination, using text both as a representational strategy and descriptive tool. Given the uncommon diversity of her interests and influences, and their significance in the production of critical positions, we deemed it relevant to open her familiar – and occasionally obscure – sources to readers. (more…)

September 4, 2006 at 7:36 pm Leave a comment

David Ireland

“Confessional, 1989.” Metal chairs and C-clamps. 48 x 20 x 20 inches

“You can’t make art by making art” has been a guiding principle in the work of David Ireland, one of California’s most important and critically acclaimed artists working in the challenging arena of conceptual and installation art. “Ideally my work has a visual presence that makes it seem like part of a usual, everyday situation,” he says. “I like the feeling that nothing’s been designed, that you can’t tell where the art stops and starts.” (more…)

September 4, 2006 at 7:18 pm 1 comment

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